The Chianti wine has a bright ruby color, you can look through the glass, just before a wine tasting, aroma of spices and black berries and a strong and velvety texture. Minimum aging of at least 11 months and a minimum alcohol content of 12 °. This gradation increases to 12, 5 ° for the Chianti Riserva, and at least 24-months of aging. Only the best grapes become Chianti Riserva: usually 20% of the production, but it depends also on the year: the 2016 was an excellent year, the intense heat of the Summer have transformed the sugar in the most aromatic substances so it may be that a greater quantity of grapes is dedicated to the Chianti reserve.
If you want a first hand experience of all the wine process from the stainless steel vats where the must completes a first fermentation and then to the oak barrels, you have to come with us in our full day Tuscan Wine Tasting Tours, the most convenient depart from Florence every day.
You will see the small oak barrels (barriques) are intended for wines with strong character and personality, a wine that will improve with time and for which the quality of the grapes is a key factor. As a matter of fact it would be useless to put a “simple” wine in a small oak barrel: we would get a bad result because the toasted wood in contact with a weak personality wine will fill it with its wood finishes highlighting his “hard” characteristics: dryness and excessive acidity.
In a wine tour in Tuscany you will also attend the “top-up” procedure of the big oak barrels: while the wine is aged in its all fine wood “B & B”, there is a drop in the level of the fluid in the winter due to the volume contraction and in other seasons evaporation, due to the microporosity of the wooden slats. The space that was occupied by the wine is saturated with air; this might be a big problem, because oxygen promotes the growth of microorganisms, which can also be responsible for the adulteration of the wine itself. To avoid this, the person in charge of the cellar has to fill from time to time the space in the barrel left by the evaporated wine, adding more wine, of the same year and of the same grapes quality through the filler, the green glass, invented by Leonardo Da Vinci.
This way the wine is never in direct contact with oxygen and the secret work between wood and wine remains a valuable work.
The wine, is made also of secrets, that you can discover in a Chianti wine tour.