Chianti Classico: Past, Present, and Future

Chianti Classico: Past, Present, and Future

Chianti Classico is in the heart of Tuscany, in northwestern central Italy, nestled between Florence and Siena. The Apennine mountains run along the northeastern ridge above Chianti Classico to the northeast of Florence, dividing the region geographically and geologically from the Po River valley and more generally from northern Italy.

The boundaries of Chianti (now Chianti Classico) were set in 1716 by Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo III de’ Medici. Yet throughout Chianti Classico’s history, there has been a struggle to define understandable zones within the region. The recently established unità geografiche aggiuntive (additional geographical units), or UGAs, are an exciting step forward. UGAs, which can be used on the labels of Gran Selezione wines beginning with the 2027 vintage, are defined by distinct terroirs and soil types. The development of this category has prompted producers to focus more on the nuances of their individual regions than on stylistic preferences and international trends—a promising shift for the region.

Before exploring Chianti Classico’s 11 UGAs, it is useful to review the history of the region and its wine law.


Chianti Classico sits alongside ancient Etruscan trail, and the Etruscan cities of Etruria, Volterra, Fiesole, Arezzo, Siena, and Chiusi surround the region. At first glance, Chianti Classico appears to be a huge zone, covering 74,455 hectares (183,980 acres). But of that area, only 9,800 hectares (24,215 acres) are planted to vineyards and only 6,800 hectares (16,800 acres) are Chianti Classico vineyards. To put this in perspective, Napa Valley is planted to more than 18,200 hectares (44,970 acres) of vineyards, Champagne to over 33,000 hectares (81,540 acres), and the Côte d’Or to roughly 8,000 hectares (19,770 acres). Note that, though they share a name, Chianti and Chianti Classico are separate zones. Chianti, which surrounds Chianti Classico, is a significantly larger production zone, in surface area and production volume.

Chianti Classico is incredibly biodiverse. The agricultural economy of the region was historically based on four resources: woods, olives, trees, and vines. Within the Chianti Classico appellation, there are 6,930 hectares (17,125 acres) of olive trees and 45,680 hectares (112,880 acres) of forest. Macchia mediterranea (Mediterranean maquis) is the shrubland biome that defines the region. The term macchia is also used to describe the aromatic nature of Sangiovese from Tuscany—the savory, scrubby, juniper, cypress, and thyme notes present in these wines.

The boundaries of Chianti Classico exclude the valley floors for their overly fertile soils as well as sites where elevations exceed 700 meters (2,300 feet) above sea level, as Sangiovese would struggle to regularly achieve ripeness at such high altitudes.


Chianti Classico has an ancient winemaking history. Artifacts such as winemaking jugs, wine-drinking vessels, and hundreds of types of grape seeds have been found throughout the region. This rich history even shielded the area from bombing during World War II, as ancient architecture, churches, and museums were intentionally avoided because of a wartime agreement that protected historical and artistic sites.

Until World War II, Chianti Classico had been viticulturally defined by mezzadria (sharecropping). As a result, winemaking was driven by yield, vigor, and typicity rather than quality. By the end of World War II, as in so many other wine regions, vineyards were abandoned, workers fled the countryside for the cities, and estate owners were left mostly on their own.

Chianti Classico 2000

Through the 1960s and 1970s, the mindset of quantity over quality prevailed, and Chianti Classico struggled in sales in the broader market. It became clear that most of the vineyards in the region desperately needed to be replanted. In 1987, the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico worked in conjunction with the agricultural departments at the University of Florence and University of Pisa on an EU-funded project, named Chianti Classico 2000. The project involved 16 vineyards covering 25 hectares (62 acres), with five participating wineries, including Isole e Olena and Famiglia Cecchi. It comprised varieties, rootstocks, vine density, training systems, soil management, and clonal selection. Of 239 identified clones in Chianti Classico, 34 were studied. Researchers identified seven Sangiovese clones and one clone of Colorino that they believed were best suited to the climate and terroir of the region. These were registered as CCL 2000 in the National Register of Vine Varieties, to identify their role in the project. They were then provided free to local nurseries, which sold them to producers.

In addition to identifying these ideal clones, the project helped improve and modernize overall viticulture and winemaking practices. Its completion in 2003 resulted in more than half the region being replanted to the CCL 2000 clones in the early 2000s, launching the modern era of wine production in Chianti Classico.

Wine Law History

Long before DOC or DOCG status was granted, Baron Bettino Ricasoli established the correct blend of varieties to produce a high-quality wine in Chianti. Recorded in 1872, Ricasoli’s blend consisted mostly of Sangiovese, with Canaiolo for softness and sweetness of fruit and Malvasia to dilute the intensity of the two red grapes, making the wine lighter and more suitable as a daily table wine. Almost a century later, in 1967, the Chianti Classico and Chianti DOCs were established. At that time, Chianti Classico was required to be 50%–80% Sangiovese, 10%–30% Canaiolo Nero, and 10%–30% Trebbiano Toscano or Malvasia del Chianti, with up to 5% Colorino. In 1984, both Chianti and Chianti Classico received DOCG status. The requirement for Chianti Classico DOCG was adjusted to 75%–90% Sangiovese, 5%–10% Canaiolo Nero, and 2%–5% Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia del Chianti, with up to 10% other red varieties.

A pivotal shift occurred in 1996, when the Chianti Classico DOCG changed its specifications, no longer requiring white varieties, or any grapes other than Sangiovese. The new requirements stipulated 75%–100% Sangiovese, up to 10% Canaiolo Nero, up to 6% Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia del Chianti, and up to 15% other red varieties. This change distinguished Chianti Classico DOCG from Chianti DOCG, and it was both a blessing and a curse for the region. White varieties had offered no benefit to the already acid-driven Sangiovese-based blends. Now, 100% Sangiovese wines, which previously fell under the Vino da Tavola (now IGT) category, could be labeled as Chianti Classico. These wines included trailblazing examples, such as Montevertine’s Le Pergole Torte, Isole e Olena’s Cepparello, and Fontodi’s Flaccianello della Pieve. But allowing up to 15% other red varieties facilitated an explosion of new plantings of Bordeaux and international varieties. Robert Parker’s influence on the global wine industry during this period was undeniable, and the market was demanding plush, extracted, New World–style wines. A thin-skinned variety, Sangiovese is altered by even a small amount of Merlot, Cabernet, or Syrah, arguably losing its nuance and aromatic appeal.

By 2006, the Chianti Classico DOCG requirements were further amended to eliminate all white varieties from the blend and increase the allowable other red varieties to 20%, with a minimum of 80% Sangiovese. Today, the Chianti Classico DOCG wines on the market are more a representation of winemaker decisions and style than a reflection of terroir, leaving producers and consumers to question what defines a Chianti Classico wine.

In addition to the variety requirements, Chianti Classico DOCG has a minimum alcohol requirement of 12% and must be aged for 12 months before release. Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG has the same variety requirements as Chianti Classico DOCG, with a higher minimum alcohol of 12.5% and longer required aging of at least 24 months, of which 3 months must be in the bottle before release.

In 2014, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG was introduced. This category has the same variety requirements as Chianti Classico, but the grapes must be grown under direct management of the producer, whether from a single vineyard or multiple sites. Gran Selezione wines require a higher minimum alcohol of 13% and must be aged at least 30 months, of which 3 months must be in the bottle before release. Beginning with the first vintage, 2010, Gran Selezione was not well received. Many felt that the category was no different from Chianti Classico Riserva—but at a higher price. And in fact, many producers rereleased their Chianti Classico Riserva bottling as Gran Selezione, with a new label and a higher price.

In 2021, the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico reached an important decision for the region, voting to implement both the UGAs and changes to the Gran Selezione category. For all Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG wines from the 2027 vintage forward, the variety requirements are 90%–100% Sangiovese and the remainder up to 10% other native red varieties. These include Canaiolo, Colorino, Malvasia Nera, Mammolo, and Ciliegiolo. Beginning with the 2027 vintage, Gran Selezione wines must list a UGA on the label. Already, many producers are working to make single-vineyard Gran Selezione bottlings from 100% Sangiovese, in a Burgundian or Barolo mindset of site-specific wines, indicating a significant paradigm shift for the region. Examples include Villa Calcinaia’s Vigna La Fornace, Montefioralle’s Vigna Bastignano and Vigna Contessa Luisa, and Querciabella’s Ruffoli.

A Note on Soils

Chianti Classico soils are commonly oversimplified into two types: alberese and galestro. Alberese is a dominant soil of the region and highly relevant. It is most simply described as weathered calcareous sandstone with high limestone content. Galestro, however, is not an actual soil type but a description of a shale-like formation; this can also be described as argillite. Alessandro Masnaghetti, in his first book on the region, published in 2022, identified 11 primary soils, which will be referenced throughout this article. Masnaghetti breaks the soils into two categories, marine and continental.

Marine Soils

  • Alberese and other calcareous-clayey sequences: Layers of white calcareous stone of considerable thickness.
  • Pietraforte: Sandstone that leads to loose, sandy soils that are well drained and stony; higher calcareous content.
  • Marine sands and conglomerates: Yellow-gray sands with conglomerates.
  • Macigno and other noncalcareous sandstones: High stone content with a high percent of sand and minimal limestone presence.
  • Sillano formation and other marly sequences: Lower limestone content and greater marly and shale content than alberese; scaly stoniness similar to that of galestro.
  • Shale with galestro: Rocks that originate from a marine clay sediment that has solidified into many layers; easily breaks down or flakes.
  • Green stones/ophiolites: The only volcanic soil type in Chianti Classico originating from magma; rich in iron.
  • Clay with marine silts: Combination of clay and silts with gravel and sand. 

Continental Soils

  • Fluvial terraces: Fluvial sediments created after erosion.
  • Fine lacustrine and alluvial deposits: Few stones and more clay.
  • Lacustrine and ancient fluvial deposits: Rich in pebbles with a less reddish color.

Exploring the UGAs

The UGAs, similar to the menzioni geografiche aggiuntive, or MGAs, of Barolo and Barbaresco, apply to a more specific and delimited area of production within an appellation of origin. From a legislative point of view, this is different from a subzone. Chianti Classico has 11 UGAs. The use of UGA on the label is currently allowed only for Chianti Classico Gran Selezione and is not required. Some believe this is likely to change.

San Casciano UGA

Commune: San Casciano in Val di Pesa
Size: 9,100 hectares (22,485 acres)
Chianti Classico Vineyards: 1,170 hectares (2,890 acres); 17.2% of total Chianti Classico vineyards
Elevation: 110–465 meters (369–1,525 feet)
Wineries: 46

San Casciano, in the far northwest of Chianti Classico, is a UGA with a strong history of great wine. Home to the famed Antinori winery and iconic Tignanello site, San Casciano traditionally had more wineries, but, since the 1960s, there has been strong consolidation as well as changes in ownership in the area. Bound by the Greve River to the east and the Pesa River to the west, San Casciano has 1,750 hectares (4,325 acres) of olive trees planted—25% of the olive trees in the entire appellation.

Geologically and climatically, San Casciano is notably uniform and is defined by a prevalence of ancient fluvial deposits composed of soils that have a reddish-brown color and high pebble content. Ripening here is the earliest of any UGA. In general, San Casciano Chianti Classico wines are defined by a less-powerful tannic structure, moderate color, and less marked acidity. There are exceptions to this, such as the hamlet of Santa Maria a Macerata, in Campòli, in the south of San Casciano, home to Antinori’s Tignanello.

Notable producers: Antinori, Cigliano di Sopra, Gabbiano, La Vigna di San Martino ad Argiano, Luiano, Il Borghetto, Montesecondo

Greve UGA

Commune: Greve in Chianti
Size: 11,570 hectares (28,590 acres)
Chianti Classico Vineyards: 620 hectares (1,539 acres); 9.1% of total
Elevation: 110–465 meters (369–1,525 feet)
Wineries: 53

The Greve commune, in the northeast, has been divided into four UGAs: Greve, Panzano, Montefioralle, and Lamole. Greve and Panzano UGAs are active with the start of the new regulations in 2023. Montefioralle and Lamole UGAs will be active from the third harvest after that date (2027).

Geologically, Greve is complex. Soils have high proportions of sillano, pietraforte, and shale. Generally, the wines of the northern reaches of the UGA, known as Strada in Chianti, are dark, broad, and structured. Wines from the southern part of the UGA, bordering Lamole, are more ethereal and floral in aromatics, while the wines from the area bordering the Greve River and Montefioralle are generous in fruit, with a bright red cherry core. Greve wines are known for their ageability, structure, and sturdiness.

Notable producers: Carpineto, Podere Campriano, Podere Poggio Scalette, Querciabella, Vicchiomaggio, Vignamaggio, Villa Calcinaia

Montefioralle UGA

Commune : Greve in Chianti
Size: 1,545 hectares (3,820 acres)
Chianti Classico Vineyards: 143 hectares (355 acres), 2.1% of total
Elevation: 230–540 meters (755–1,770 feet)
Wineries: 15 

Long before the UGAs were established, Montefioralle was recognized as a historically important location and a superior site for Sangiovese. It is a tiny zone and the second smallest UGA. The terrain is rugged and dense, with a high concentration of steep slopes with terraces and olive trees.

In Montefioralle, there is a distinctly high content of alberese with some pietraforte. The soils are rather homogenous and result in wines that are markedly fruity, approachable, and full, with a fleshy bing cherry character in the midpalate. The microclimate of Montefioralle is warmer than that of other interior areas of Chianti Classico.

Notable producers: Bibi Graetz, Castello di Verrazzano, Isola delle Falcole, Podere Campriano, Tenute del Cabreo, Villa Calcinaia, Viticcio

Lamole UGA

Commune : Greve in Chianti
Size: 985 hectares (2,435 acres)
Chianti Classico Vineyards: 68 hectares (168 acres); 1% of total
Elevation: 425–715 meters (1,395–2,345 feet)

Lamole is the smallest UGA, in both surface area and vineyard plantings, with the highest-elevation vineyards (La Sala, Casole Alta, and Grilli all exceed 700 meters, or 2,300 feet). Engulfed in forest, which covers 76% of the region, Lamole is known not only for its small size but also for the cultivation of iris flowers for perfumery, indicated on many wine labels from the region. The many terraces and loose, poor soils of Lamole are ideal for iris cultivation, and, coincidentally, the wines from Lamole are often characterized as the most floral and lifted.

Lamole UGA is defined by soils that are rich in macigno, which has a low pH, below 7.5, resulting in wines with dark color and contributing to lower acidity. The high density of forest and high elevation of Lamole, however, help balance this, raising acidity in the wines. The alpine quality of the Sangiovese wines of Lamole is distinct, as is their ethereal bouquet.

Notable producers: Filetta di Lamole (Fontodi), I Fabbri, Lamole di Lamole (owned by Santa Margherita), Le Masse di Lamole, Podere Castellinuzza

Panzano UGA

Commune: Greve in Chianti
Size: 2,840 hectares (7,020 acres)
Chianti Classico Vineyards: 455 hectares (1,125 acres); 6.7% of total
Elevation: 250–660 meters (820–2,165 feet)
Wineries: 39

Panzano has the highest density of vines of all the UGAs. There are three distinct sectors of Panzano: the eastern sector; the western sector, which contains the famed Conca d’Oro; and the southern sector. The eastern sector is generally known for its cooler climate, while the south is marked by variations in altitude. The village of Panzano is a notable landmark of the region.

Panzano’s geology cannot be generalized. There are outcroppings of alberese, pietraforte, macigno, shale, and sillano. The wines of Panzano are full, rich, and structured, with a completeness that is particular to the area. The Conca d’Oro is effectively an amphitheater, with Fontodi’s Gran Selezione Vigna del Sorbo forming the top half of the Conca d’Oro and Candialle forming the lower half. From north to south, the soils of the Conca d’Oro transition from sillano to pietraforte. Nearby, in the western sector, is Vigna d’Alceo, Castello dei Rampolla’s historic terraced vineyard.

Notable producers: Candialle, Castello dei Rampolla, Fontodi, Il Molino di Grace, Isola delle Falcole, Le Cinciole, Monte Bernardi, Tenuta La Massa

Radda UGA

Commune: Radda in Chianti
Size: 8,050 hectares (19,890 acres)
Chianti Classico Vineyards: 580 hectares (1,435 acres); 8.5% of total
Elevation: 295–675 meters (970–2,215 feet)
Wineries: 42 

Radda is a village and UGA characterized by high-altitude vineyards, dense forest, and complex vineyard aspects and soil compositions resulting from the Pesa River, which cuts through the UGA from southeast to northwest. Though the vineyards in Radda are not the highest-elevation sites in Chianti Classico, they are some of the most dramatically sloped. Over 75% of the region is covered in forest, which increases oxygen availability and cools nighttime temperatures, bringing a distinct crispness to the wines.

Geologically, Radda has a bit of everything, with a ranges of soils. Its proximity to Gaiole’s Monti del Chianti results in a generally cooler climate and wines with notable elegance, perfume, and lift. Organic production is common here, with 63% of all growers in Radda certified organic.

Notable producers: Brancaia, Caparsa, Castello di Albola, Castello di Volpaia, Istine, L’Erta di Radda, Monteraponi, Monterinaldi, Montevertine, Poggerino, Tenuta di Carleone

Gaiole UGA

Commune: Gaiole in Chianti
Size: 12,900 hectares (31,875 acres)
Chianti Classico Vineyards: 780 hectares (1,930 acres); 11.2% of total
Elevation: 220–685 meters (720–2,250 feet)
Wineries: 41

Gaiole is the largest UGA by surface area and encompasses high-altitude vineyards, densely planted forest, and the famed Monti del Chianti area, which many believe could become its own UGA. Gaiole is less easily accessible than many other UGAs, such as Greve and San Casciano; some feel it was slow to receive the attention and investment it deserved. Outside the iconic estates of Badia a Coltibuono, San Giusto a Rentennano, and Barone Ricasoli, many of the well-known estates of Gaiole—including Riecine and Castello di Ama–were not established until the 1970s.

Gaiole is dominated by alberese soils, though there is an isolated strip of macigno from Gaiole in Chianti to Castagnoli to Castello di Brolio. There are also marine sands and fluvial terraces in the southern portion of the UGA.

Gaiole’s southern sector, the area of Monti del Chianti, is unquestionably the finest part of the UGA. Monti del Chianti is effectively an extended plateau of deep alberese with marine sediment. The temperature here is warmer than in the rest of Gaiole, resulting in wines that are tannic, structured, long lived, and incredibly complex, without an unbalanced amount of alcohol. Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico Riserva and the iconic San Giusto a Rentennano Percarlo are standout examples.

The northern sector, Vertine in Gaiole, is a hub for vineyards owned by producers from Radda. Just east of Vertine is Montegrossi, named after the famed historic estate Rocca di Montegrossi. The Riecine estate, including its single vineyard for the Gran Selezione Vigna Gittori, is located in this sector.

Notable producers: Badia a Coltibuono, Barone Ricasoli, Carpineta Fontalpino, Castello di Ama, Castello di Brolio (Barone Ricasoli), Dievole, Riecine, Rocca di Castagnoli, Rocca di Montegrossi, San Giusto a Rentennano 

Castelnuovo Berardenga UGA

Commune: Castelnuovo Berardenga
Size: 5,370 hectares (13,270 acres)
Chianti Classico Vineyards: 605 hectares (1,495 acres); 8.9% of total
Elevation: 225–630 meters (740–2,065 feet)
Wineries: 15 

From Castelnuovo Berardenga to Monti del Chianti, the shift in microclimate, soil, and terroir is remarkable. Castelnuovo Berardenga is Mediterranean, in contrast with the alpine feel of Gaiole, Greve, and Radda. The area immediately below Monti del Chianti, the northern sector of Castelnuovo Berardenga, has a cooler microclimate than the rest of the UGA. This is home to Podere Le Boncie, San Felice, and Castell’in Villa. Farther south, in Fèlsina’s Rancia, Colonia, and Fontalloro vineyards, there is more sunshine.

Castelnuovo Berardenga UGA has a significant proportion of clay compared with other UGAs, resulting in hefty, structured wines. The wines are reflective of a climate that is warmer than that of the UGAs to the north, with riper, more sun-kissed fruit profiles.

Notable producers: Castell’in Villa, Castello di Bossi, Fèlsina, Podere Le Boncie, San Felice, Tenuta di Arceno

Vagliagli UGA

Commune: Castelnuovo Berardenga
Size: 6,090 hectares (15,050 acres)
Chianti Classico Vineyards: 640 hectares (1,580 acres); 9.4% of total
Elevation: 300–450 meters (985–1,475 feet)
Wineries: 30

Vagliagli UGA falls within the commune of Castelnuovo Berardenga, which, on a map, looks like wings of a butterfly: Vagliagli UGA is the left wing, while Castelnuovo Berardenga UGA is the right. Vagliagli can be divided into seven zones: Dievole/Selvole, Pievasciata, Geggiano/Catignano, Pontignano, Quercegrossa, Petroio/Mocenni, and Corsignano.

Vagliagli is more geologically complex than Castelnuovo Berardenga. Soils here are dominated by alberese, macigno, sillano, and marine sands. It is also generally warmer in Vagliagli than in Castelnuovo Berardenga, with a ripening period of five days to one week earlier as compared with eastern neighbors at similar elevations. The wines of Vagliagli are less tannic, with a sweeter core of fruit.

Notable producers: Bindi Sergardi Tenuta I Colli, Bindi Sergardi Tenuta Mocenni, Castello di Fonterutoli, Dievole, Fattoria di Petroio, Tolaini, Villa di Geggiano

Castellina UGA

Commune: Castellina in Chianti
Size: 9,980 hectares (24,660 acres)
Chianti Classico Vineyards: 1,290 hectares (3,190 acres); 19% of total
Elevation: 200–500 meters (655–1,640 feet)
Wineries: 59

Castellina is the largest UGA of Chianti Classico by planted hectares and is the most densely planted. Wineries here range in size from the very small to the very large. The style of wines produced in Castellina is fairly consistent. The wines typically have a distinct breadth on the palate, firm tannin structure, and bright acidity.

Castellina has stonier sillano soils in the upper slopes. In the northeastern part of the region, along the border with Radda, there is a high concentration of woods and alberese-rich soils. Altitudes for Castellina peak here at over 500 meters (1,640 feet). The gentle slopes to the northwest yield powerful, structured wines for aging, such as Piemaggio’s Le Fioraie and Famiglia Cecchi’s Villa Rosa. In the central upper slopes, Castellare’s famed vineyards are planted in complex soils composed of sillano, shale, lacustrine, and pietraforte. The midslopes on the eastern-southern border of Castellina are defined by valleys of waterways, which create varied soils. Lastly, in the southern, lower slopes on the western border, the soils are dominated by clay, with elevations around 300 meters (985 feet). Pomona and Casina di Cornia are located here.

Notable producers: Bibbiano, Casina di Cornia, Castellare, Famiglia Cecchi, Famiglia Cecchi’s Villa Cerna, Famiglia Cecchi’s Villa Rosa, Lilliano, Piemaggio, Pomona, Rocca delle Macie, Rodano

San Donato in Poggio UGA

Commune: Barberino Tavarnelle, Poggibonsi
Size: 6,025 hectares (14,890 acres)
Chianti Classico Vineyards: 450 hectares (1,110 acres); 6.6% of total
Elevation: 250–425 meters (820–1,395 feet)
Wineries: 28

San Donato in Poggio UGA is within the communes of Barberino Tavarnelle and Poggibonsi. In this western, forested area of Chianti Classico, Isole e Olena and Castello di Monsanto, both in the southern sector, have contributed immensely to the growth of the region over the past 50 years. Castello di Monsanto’s Il Poggio bottling was the first single-vineyard wine bottled and labeled as such in Chianti Classico. Monsanto is home to Italy’s largest cellar, with the largest back stock of old vintages. Isole e Olena’s Paolo De Marchi was a leader in the Chianti Classico 2000 project, and the winery’s Cepparello was one of the region’s first 100% Sangiovese bottlings.

San Donato in Poggio is defined by sillano and pietraforte, with shale and marine sands in the south near Monsanto and Isole e Olena. This part of Chianti Classico, below 350 meters (1,150 feet) of elevation, was under the sea in the Pliocene epoch, resulting in a high concentration of marine sediments and formations.

The long-lived quality of San Donato’s wines can be attributed to the pietraforte and marine sediment in the soils. The wines of San Donato have a distinctly long-lived quality because of the pietraforte and marine sediment in the soils. The pietraforte provides high magnesium and calcium, resulting in structure similar to that of the wines of Panzano, while the marine sediment contributes a saline quality, making the wines more open, floral, and juicy.

Notable producers: Casa Emma, Castello di Monsanto, Isole e Olena

Looking Ahead

The development of the UGA system marks a distinct shift in the mindset of many producers in Chianti Classico, a region with a rich but complex wine history. Rather than appealing to the trends of the international wine markets, producers are committed to Sangiovese and focused on the individuality of the region’s terroirs. As producers have increasingly acquired single vineyards in intriguing locations, such as Gaiole, Lamole, and Vagliagli, the region seems to be heading in the direction of Burgundy and Barolo. As wine buyers, sommeliers, and consumers begin to understand the Gran Selezione bottlings—and, as a result, the UGAs and their differences—they will appreciate the many nuances of the terroirs of Chianti Classico.

There has never been a greater time to buy, sell, and drink the wines of Chianti Classico, from Chianti Classico DOCG bottlings to Gran Selezione single-vineyard bottlings to off-the-beaten-path IGT wines made from 100% Sangiovese. The future here is extraordinarily bright.

You Might Also Like


Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico. “Additional Geographic Units.” Accessed October 4, 2023.

Gaiser, Tim. “Chianti Classico 2000 Project.” Tim Gaiser (blog). February 16, 2012.

Masnaghetti, Alessandro, and Paolo De Cristofaro. Chianti Classico: The Atlas of the Vineyards and UGAs. Monza, Italy: Enogea, 2022.

Neso, William R., and Frances Di Savino. Chianti Classico: The Search for Tuscanys Noblest Wine. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2016.

Shank, Ian M. “How the Most Precise Bombing Run of WWII Saved Florence’s Masterpieces.” Art & Object, March 11, 2019.

UNESCO. “The system of the Ville-fattoria in Chianti Classico.” Tentative Lists. Accessed October 4, 2023.

Parents Comment Children
No Data