Located outside of the “slow food” villaggio (village) of Castelnuovo Berardenga and across from the glorious vineyards of the Felsina Winery, there is a magnificent statue of a Black Rooster that glistens on a sunny day, as though it has been roasting on an open fire.
The Black Rooster was designed by Luca e Stafano Ruggeri to honour the 300th anniversary of the designation of the wine territory “Chianti Classico”, linking for the first time, the surrounding lands with the locally produced quality red Chianti wines.
The statue is also used to mark the “boundaries” of the designated Chianti Classico areas within the Chianti Region of Tuscany. This designation stretches to limited areas between Florence and Siena, including a small number of municipalities (14 in total including Castelnuovo Berardenga) such as Greve and Rhadda in Chianti (https://www.chianti.com/wine/chianti-classico.html).
Located within these designated Chianti Classico areas are hundreds of glorious red wine producers, whose product is the revered Chianti Classico wine.
I reside in the southern portion of the Chianti Classico Region outside of Castelnuovo Berardenga, on the magnificent Villa Di Arceno wine and olive estate. In the area surrounding the Arceno estate are some of the best Chianti Classico wine producers (Felsina, Tentuta Di Arceno, Villa a Sesta only to name a few) who take great orgoglio (pride) in sharing their wines and way of life with others.
I like to say, ” I am dipped in wine country” and I am certainly developing a “demitasse shaped figure” to support that this is, indeed factual.
The Sangiovese grape is the star ingredient in any Chianti Classico wine and in order to receive this designation (Chianti Classico), the following blend must be followed; a minimum of 80% Sangiovese grape and 20% of other native Italian grapes such as Canaiolo and Colorino, international grape varieties such as, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot have also contributed to the 20% (https://www.chianti.com/wine/chianti-classico.html).
The result is a beautiful red wine that is both rich in smell and flavour; the smell of the Tuscan earth, plums, cherries, violet, smoke (to name a few) and a glorious set of tannins, will give your mouth a real bite, while leaving you reeling in its liquid wake.
To drink a glass of Chianti Classico wine is to feel as though you are drinking directly from the lands of Tuscany, to experience in each droplet, the results of what centuries of strenuous human toil has created by tending the vines and soil, which wraps around their roots.
The Etruscans and the Romans lived on these lands while laying the “ground work” for these exceptional wines.
“It is no coincidence that, on all four sides, in all four corners, the borders of the Roman Empire stopped where wine could no longer be made.” – Need Burton
To ensure buyers understand they are purchasing a Chianti Classico wine the necks of the bottles and sometimes the caps of the wines will have the Chianti Classico logo (Black Rooster) proudly on display.
The label with the Black Rooster was founded in 1924 to identify this valuable wine as well as to prevent false representation.
So why is the Black Rooster used for the symbol of the Chianti Region and a logo for Chianti Classico wine? It goes something like this:
Florence and Siena were always fighting during Medieval times, constantly in combat over who would rule the fertile hills of the Chianti area. Exhausted by the loss of life and bloodshed on both sides, the following plan was devised.
A Knight on horseback would depart both Siena and Florence at the same time travelling toward each other. The site of where the Knights met would determine where the territorial boundaries would be drawn. Given watches were not in existence, the crowing Rooster was chosen to determine the “departure time” for the horseman in their respective province.
Siena fed their Rooster hoping the satisfied bird would crow early in the morning extolling its good fortune. The Florentines kept their Rooster hungry and as it turns out, the Florentine’s Black Rooster, so disgusted with his lack of food, awoke early, and the Florentine rider departed and the rest is history.
The Sangiovese grapes, which hung from the magnificent vines located on the Villa Di Arceno estate have been hand-picked by the local men and women who have carefully tended them all year-long for the Tenuta Di Arceno Winery. The Winemaker Lawrence Cronin will again work his magic, producing another extraordinary Chianti Classico wine to share, now, that is something to crow about.
“Wine is sunlight held together by water.” – Galileo Galilei
BrainyQuotes. (2001-2017). Burton Quotes (Web Site). Retrieved from: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/489063.Neel_Burton
BrainyQuotes. (2001-2017). Galilei Quotes (Web Site). Retrieved from: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/200391-wine-is-sunlight-held-together-by-water
Discover Tuscany. (2017). Tuscany and Chianti Wines (Web Site). Retrieved from: https://www.chianti.com