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Document 52024XC02474

Publication of an application for amendment of a specification for a name in the wine sector referred to in Article 105 of Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council

C/2024/2046

OJ C, C/2024/2474, 3.4.2024, ELI: http://data.europa.eu/eli/C/2024/2474/oj (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, GA, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

ELI: http://data.europa.eu/eli/C/2024/2474/oj

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C/2024/2474

3.4.2024

Publication of an application for amendment of a specification for a name in the wine sector referred to in Article 105 of Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council

(C/2024/2474)

This publication confers the right to oppose the application pursuant to Article 98 of Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council (1) within two months from the date of this publication.

REQUEST FOR AMENDMENT TO THE PRODUCT SPECIFICATION

Chianti

PDO-IT-A1228-AM04

Date of application: 12 June 2017

1.   Rules applicable to the amendment

Article 105 of Regulation (EU) n° 1308/2013 – Non-minor modification

2.   Description and reasons for amendment

2.1.   Vine varieties — reintroduction of white grape varieties for the ‘Chianti’ Colli Senesi sub-area

White grape varieties have been reintroduced as secondary varieties for ‘Chianti’ wines from the Colli Senesi sub-area, making up no more than 10 % of the overall composition. The clause inserted in the previous amendment to the specification, which established that from the 2016 harvest onwards white wine varieties would be excluded from the variety mix, due to the trend of wines being produced only from red grape varieties, has therefore been deleted.

The traditional possibility of white grape varieties from the list of varieties authorised for cultivation in the Region of Tuscany accounting for a maximum of 10 % has therefore been maintained.

The variety mix for ‘Chianti’ wines from the Colli Senesi sub-area has therefore been harmonised with that of the other types and sub-areas included in the specification for ‘Chianti’ PDO wines. This option, which appeared in previous versions of the product specification, has been reintroduced to restore the traditional practices followed in growing and producing ‘Chianti’ Colli Senesi.

This amendment affects Article 2.2 of the product specification but does not affect the single document.

2.2.   Elimination of the maximum altitude for cultivation

The rule establishing a maximum altitude of 700 metres above sea level for vineyards used in the production of ‘Chianti’ PDO wines has been removed.

The effects of climate change — not only in Tuscany, but all over the planet — mean that grapes and wines can now be produced in new areas even at higher altitudes which used to be considered unfit for winegrowing, also yielding high-quality produce and thus rendering the 700-metre altitude limit obsolete.

This amendment affects Article 4.1 of the product specification but does not affect the single document.

2.3.   Increase in the minimum density of vines per hectare according to suitability for new or replanted vineyards

The minimum density applicable to new or replanted vineyards has been increased to 4 100 vines per hectare for all ‘Chianti’ PDO wines except the ‘Chianti’ Rufina sub-area, for which the minimum density is 4 500 vines per hectare.

This is a technical modification, increasing the minimum vine density for areas entitled to use the ‘Chianti’ PDO name from 4 000 to 4 100 plants per hectare, with the exception of the ‘Chianti’ Rufina sub-area, for which the minimum density is 4 500 vines per hectare.

The aim behind this increase is to improve the quality of the grapes produced by each individual vine. The threshold for ‘Chianti’ Rufina is set at 4 500 vines per hectare because that sub-area is characterised by distinctive soil and climate conditions.

This amendment affects Article 4.2 of the product specification but does not affect the single document.

2.4.   Maximum yields — grapes per hectare and vine

The maximum yield in terms of grapes per hectare has been increased for vineyards with a minimum density higher than 4 000 vines per hectare.

For these vineyards, the maximum yield for basic ‘Chianti’ is 11 tonnes of grapes per hectare. A maximum yield of 9,5 tonnes per hectare applies to the ‘Chianti’ Colli Aretini, ‘Chianti’ Colline Pisane, ‘Chianti’ Montalbano, ‘Chianti’ Montespertoli and ‘Chianti’ Rufina sub-areas and to ‘Chianti’ Superiore, and a limit of 9 tonnes per hectare is in place for the ‘Chianti’ Colli Fiorentini, ‘Chianti’ Colli Senesi and ‘Chianti’ Colli Senesi Riserva types. However, if vine density is lower than 4 000 plants per hectare, the grape yield may not exceed 9 tonnes per hectare for basic ‘Chianti’, 8 tonnes per hectare for any of the sub-areas, and 7,5 tonnes per hectare for Superiore wines.

Average yield may not exceed 3 kilograms of grapes per plant.

Furthermore, the minimum natural alcoholic strength of the grapes used to make ‘Chianti’ Rufina has been raised from 11,00 % by volume to 11,50 % by volume.

As highlighted in the Technical Report by the Accademia Italiana della Vite e del Vino appended to the proposal to amend the 2014 product specification, modern production and vineyard management techniques mean that good quality grapes can be obtained with yields of up to 12 tonnes per hectare, and increasing yield to this level does not diminish quality. New vineyards are now being planted with average densities of around 5 000 plants per hectare, and the new clones available on the market give improved yields and at the same time better quality, by reducing the bud load/production per plant. For example, in existing vineyards with a vine density of more than 4 000 plants per hectare, at a maximum production yield of 11 tonnes of grapes per hectare (the limit proposed for basic ‘Chianti’ PDO wines), average yield per plant will not exceed 2,75 kilograms, well below the average yield ceiling of 3 kilograms. This means that the quality of both the grapes used to make ‘Chianti’ PDO (including the versions with sub-area identifiers) and the end product will improve considerably.

This amendment affects Article 4.6 of the product specification and Section 1.5.2 (Maximum yields) of the single document.

2.5.   Addition of a rule restricting vinification, processing, bottling and final refining to the production area

A)   Vinification, processing and ageing area:

In accordance with current EU legislation, the vinification, processing, ageing and refining area has been revised so that the various stages of the production cycle for ‘Chianti’ PDO wine can be concentrated in the production area (which spans the entire administrative territories of the provinces of Arezzo, Florence, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato and Siena) plus the neighbouring provinces of Grosseto, Livorno and Lucca.

All wines bearing sub-area identifiers must be vinified, processed and aged within the production area defined for the sub-area in question. However, these operations may also be carried out at wineries located within the administrative territories of the provinces of Arezzo, Florence, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato or Siena or in the adjacent provinces of Grosseto, Livorno and Lucca, provided that these wineries were established prior to 5 August 1996 and belong to winegrowers whose crops are accepted for the production of wine with the ‘Chianti’ PDO sub-area identifier in question.

As well as safeguarding the quality of the products placed on the market, the purpose of processing and, where applicable, ageing in the production area is to ensure and guarantee the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of the respective controls and traceability by the control bodies and competent authorities, in compliance with the EU legislation in force.

B)   Bottling and final refining area:

The bottling and, for the applicable types, final refining area has been revised so that the bottling of ‘Chianti’ PDO wine can also be concentrated in the production area (which spans the entire administrative territories of the provinces of Arezzo, Florence, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato and Siena) plus the adjoining provinces of Grosseto, Livorno and Lucca, as explained above in point A).

Wines bearing a sub-area identifier must be bottled and, if applicable, refined within the production area defined for the sub-area in question. However, these operations may also be carried out at wineries located within the administrative territories of the provinces of Arezzo, Florence, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato or Siena or in the adjoining provinces of Grosseto, Livorno and Lucca.

Furthermore, in accordance with current EU legislation, individuals or businesses that have traditionally bottled the product outside the areas demarcated in the product specification may be issued with individual permits for this activity under the conditions laid down in current national legislation.

The aim behind limiting also the bottling and, if applicable, final refining stage to the production area or neighbouring zones is to safeguard the quality and reputation of ‘Chianti’ PDO wines, including those with additional sub-area identifiers.

Transportation and bottling outside the production area could compromise the quality of ‘Chianti’ PDO wines, as they could be exposed to redox reactions, sudden changes in temperature and microbiological contamination. These phenomena could have negative effects on the physical and chemical characteristics (minimum total acidity, minimum sugar-free extract, etc.) and organoleptic characteristics (colour, aroma and taste) of the wines. The greater the distance between the wine-growing and bottling areas, the more these risks increase. Conversely, bottling in the area of origin ensures that the batches of wine remain in place or that movement is kept to a minimum, which allows the characteristics and qualities of the product to be preserved. This also protects the reputation of the ‘Chianti’ PDO, which represents over 3 000 winegrowers with an average annual wine production of some 800 000 hectolitres, placed on the market in around 90-100 million bottles.

These aspects, linked to the experience and extensive technical and scientific knowledge of the wines that ‘Chianti’ PDO winemakers have built up over the years, mean that bottling is carried out in the area of origin, using the best techniques designed to preserve all of the physical, chemical and organoleptic characteristics laid down in the product specification for these wines.

As well as safeguarding the quality of the products placed on the market, the purpose of bottling in the production area is to ensure and guarantee the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of the respective controls and traceability by the control bodies and competent authorities, in compliance with the EU legislation in force.

Bottling within the demarcated area also gives more assurance to the end consumer in terms of food safety, as the product leaves the area of origin already packaged, labelled with quality assurance markings and having undergone the certification processes required by the product specification and the PDO rules.

This amendment affects Article 5.1 of the product specification and Section 1.9. (Further conditions) of the single document.

2.6.   Maximum fruit-to-wine yield per hectare

Given the new maximum yields per hectare that apply to the grapes from which ‘Chianti’ PDO wine is made, it follows that the maximum fruit-to-wine per hectare ratio of 70 % also needs to be brought into line with these.

Using the revised grape yields, the new maximum wine yields are thus as follows: 77 hectolitres per hectare for basic ‘Chianti’, 66,50 hectolitres per hectare for the Colli Aretini, Colline Pisane, Montalbano, Montespertoli and Rufina sub-areas and for the Superiore category, and 63,00 hectolitres per hectare for the Colli Fiorentini and Colli Senesi sub-areas.

This is an automatic adjustment made by adapting the 70 % fruit-to-wine ratio to the new maximum yields per plant and/or hectare that apply to the grapes from which ‘Chianti’ PDO is made.

This amendment affects Article 5.4 of the product specification and Section 1.5.2 (Maximum yields) of the single document.

2.7.   Early release for consumption

If they have attained the minimum chemical, physical and organoleptic characteristics required by the product specification, ‘Chianti’ PDO wines (with or without additional geographical identifiers) may be released for consumption up to a maximum of two months earlier than the established release date when advisable due to weather or market conditions. To obtain authorisation for this early release, the Chianti Wine Consortium, having first consulted industry associations, must submit a documented application to the Tuscan regional authorities.

This is a minor amendment to allow ‘Chianti’ PDO wines (with or without additional geographical identifiers) to be released for consumption up to two months before the usual dates laid down in the product specification if advisable due to market or weather conditions, provided that the wines have attained the minimum chemical, physical and organoleptic characteristics required by the product specification for consumption.

This amendment affects Article 5.6 of the product specification but does not affect the single document.

2.8.   Closures

Any of the closures allowed under current legislation, with the exception of crown-cap corks or foils, may now be used for all types of ‘Chianti’ (with or without sub-area identifiers). This does not include Riserva wines, for which exclusively standard corks may be used.

This proposed amendment to the product specification is aimed at meeting new demands on the market, particularly foreign markets, which account for more than 70 % of the volume of ‘Chianti’ PDO wines sold. Today, markets — the northern European and US markets in particular, but this could be extended to all foreign markets — need to use Stelvin screw-caps or any other closures provided for by current legislation because they are more practical and ensure that, at the moment of consumption, the wine will be free from any defects associated with the use of traditional corks. In practice, this extends the range of possibilities for marketing ‘Chianti’ PDO wines both within and outside the EU.

This amendment affects Article 8.2 of the product specification but does not affect the single document.

SINGLE DOCUMENT

1.   Name of product

Chianti

2.   Geographical indication type

PDO — Protected Designation of Origin

3.   Categories of grapevine products

1.

Wine

4.   Description of the wine(s)

1.   Basic ‘Chianti’ and ‘Chianti’ wines with sub-area identifiers

Colour: bright ruby red, developing garnet tones with age.

Aroma: intense, sometimes with violet notes that mature in the ageing stage.

Taste: harmonious, flavourful, clean and slightly tannic, maturing over time to a smooth velvety flavour; in vintages subjected to the Governo all’uso Toscano technique, the taste is bright and full.

Minimum total alcoholic strength by volume: 11,50 %, for ‘Chianti’, ‘Chianti’ Colli Aretini, ‘Chianti’ Colline Pisane and ‘Chianti’ Montalbano.

Meanwhile, for the other sub-areas ‘Chianti’ Colli Fiorentini, ‘Chianti’ Colli Senesi, ‘Chianti’ Montespertoli and ‘Chianti’ Rufina: Minimum total alcoholic strength by volume: 12,00 %. Maximum reducing sugar content of 4,0 g/l.

Minimum sugar-free extract: 20,0 g/l, for ‘Chianti’ PDO.

Minimum sugar-free extract: 21,0 g/l for all ‘Chianti’ PDO wines with additional geographical identifiers (sub-areas).

Wherever the value is left blank in the table below, the wines comply with the limits laid down in national and EU legislation.

General analytical characteristics

Maximum total alcoholic strength (in % volume)

 

Minimum actual alcoholic strength (in % volume)

 

Minimum total acidity

4,50 in grams per litre expressed as tartaric acid

Maximum volatile acidity (in milliequivalents per litre)

20,00

Maximum total sulphur dioxide (in milligrams per litre)

 

2.   ‘Chianti’ Riserva and ‘Chianti’ Riserva wines with sub-area identifiers

Colour: bright ruby red, developing garnet tones with age.

Aroma: Intense, sometimes delicate violet notes with age.

Taste: dry, flavourful, clean, quite tannic, maturing over time to a smooth velvety flavour; forest fruit.

Minimum total alcoholic strength by volume for ‘Chianti’ Riserva: 12,00 %.

Minimum total alcoholic strength by volume for ‘Chianti’ Riserva with the Colli Aretini, Colli Fiorentini, Colline Pisane, Montalbano, Montespertoli and Rufina sub-area identifiers: 12,50 %.

Minimum total alcoholic strength by volume for ‘Chianti’ Riserva from the Colli Senesi sub-area: 13,00 %.

Maximum reducing sugar content: 4,0 g/l.

Minimum sugar-free extract for ‘Chianti’ Riserva, ‘Chianti’ Riserva Colli Aretini, ‘Chianti’ Riserva Colli Fiorentini, ‘Chianti’ Riserva Colline Pisane, ‘Chianti’ Riserva Montalbano and ‘Chianti’ Riserva Montespertoli: 22,0 g/l.

Minimum sugar-free extract for ‘Chianti’ Colli Senesi and ‘Chianti’ Rufina: 23,0 g/l.

Wherever the value is left blank in the table below, the wines comply with the limits laid down in national and EU legislation.

General analytical characteristics

Maximum total alcoholic strength (in % volume)

 

Minimum actual alcoholic strength (in % volume)

 

Minimum total acidity

4,50 in grams per litre expressed as tartaric acid

Maximum volatile acidity (in milliequivalents per litre)

20,00

Maximum total sulphur dioxide (in milligrams per litre)

 

3.   Chianti’ Superiore

Colour: bright ruby red, developing garnet tones with age.

Aroma: intense, sometimes notes of violet and forest fruit.

Taste: dry, flavourful, clean, warm, persistent, slightly tannic, maturing over time to a smooth velvety flavour.

Minimum total alcoholic strength by volume: 12,00 %, with a maximum reducing sugar content of 4,0 g/l.

Minimum sugar-free extract of 22,0 g/l.

Wherever the value is left blank in the table below, the wines comply with the limits laid down in national and EU legislation.

General analytical characteristics

Maximum total alcoholic strength (in % volume)

 

Minimum actual alcoholic strength (in % volume)

 

Minimum total acidity

4,50 in grams per litre expressed as tartaric acid

Maximum volatile acidity (in milliequivalents per litre)

20,00

Maximum total sulphur dioxide (in milligrams per litre)

 

5.   Wine making practices

a.   Essential oenological practices

Winemakers may use the traditional practice known as Governo all’uso Toscano, whereby, just after the wine has been racked off, fermentation is slowly restarted by adding slightly dried grapes from the permitted varieties

b.   Maximum yields

1.

‘Chianti’ and ‘Chianti’ Riserva

11 000 kilograms of grapes per hectare

2.

‘Chianti’ and ‘Chianti’ Riserva

77 hectolitres per hectare

3.

‘Chianti’Colli Aretini and ‘Chianti’Colli Aretini Riserva

9 500 kilograms of grapes per hectare

4.

‘Chianti’Colli Aretini and ‘Chianti’Colli Aretini Riserva

66,5 hectolitres per hectare

5.

‘Chianti’ Colli Fiorentini and ‘Chianti’ Colli Fiorentini Riserva

9 000 kilograms of grapes per hectare

6.

‘Chianti’Colli Fiorentini and ‘Chianti’Colli Fiorentini Riserva

63 hectolitres per hectare

7.

‘Chianti’ Colli Senesi and ‘Chianti’ Colli Senesi Riserva

9 000 kilograms of grapes per hectare

8.

‘Chianti’Colli Senesi and ‘Chianti’Colli Senesi Riserva

63 hectolitres per hectare

9.

‘Chianti’ Colline Pisane and ‘Chianti’ Colline Pisane Riserva

9 500 kilograms of grapes per hectare

10.

‘Chianti’Colline Pisane and ‘Chianti’Colline Pisane Riserva

66,5 hectolitres per hectare

11.

‘Chianti’ Montalbano and ‘Chianti’ Montalbano Riserva

9 500 kilograms of grapes per hectare

12.

‘Chianti’Montalbano and ‘Chianti’Montalbano Riserva

66,5 hectolitres per hectare

13.

‘Chianti’ Montespertoli and ‘Chianti’ Montespertoli Riserva

9 500 kilograms of grapes per hectare

14.

‘Chianti’Montespertoli and ‘Chianti’Montespertoli Riserva

66,5 hectolitres per hectare

15.

‘Chianti’ Rufina and ‘Chianti’ Rufina Riserva

9 500 kilograms of grapes per hectare

16.

‘Chianti’Rufina and ‘Chianti’Rufina Riserva

66,5 hectolitres per hectare

17.

‘Chianti’ Superiore

9 500 kilograms of grapes per hectare

18.

‘Chianti’ Superiore

66,5 hectolitres per hectare

6.   Demarcated geographical area

‘Chianti’ PDO wines, comprising all of the different categories and sub-areas, are produced in the central part of the Region of Tuscany. The ‘Chianti’ PDO production area is a hilly terrain — excellent wine-growing territory — that spans the provinces of Arezzo, Florence, Prato, Pistoia, Pisa and Siena. The municipalities concerned are as follows:

Arezzo, Bucine, Capolona, Castelfranco Piandiscò, Castiglion Fibocchi, Cavriglia, Civitella in Val di Chiana, Foiano della Chiana, Laterina, Loro Ciuffenna, Lucignano, Monte San Savino, Montevarchi, Pergine Valdarno, San Giovanni Valdarno, Subbiano, Talla and Terranuova Bracciolini in the province of Arezzo;

Florence, Bagno a Ripoli, Barberino Val d’Elsa, Capraia e Limite, Castelfiorentino, Cerreto Guidi, Certaldo, Dicomano, Empoli, Fiesole, Figline e Incisa Valdarno, Fucecchio, Gambassi Terme, Impruneta, Lastra a Signa, Londa, Montaione, Montelupo Fiorentino, Montespertoli, Pelago, Pontassieve, Reggello, Rignano sull’Arno, Rufina, San Casciano in Val di Pesa, Scandicci, Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, Vicchio and Vinci in the province of Florence;

Carmignano, Montemurlo and Poggio a Caiano in the province of Prato;

Pistoia, Lamporecchio, Larciano, Monsummano Terme, Montale, Pieve a Nievole, Quarrata and Serravalle Pistoiese in the province of Pistoia;

Capannoli, Casciana Terme, Chianni, Crespina, Fauglia, Lajatico, Lari, Lorenzana, Montopoli in Val d’Arno, Palaia, Peccioli, Ponsacco, Pontedera, San Miniato, Santa Luce and Terricciola in the province of Pisa;

Siena, Asciano, Casole d’Elsa, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Cetona, Chianciano Terme, Chiusi, Colle di Val d’Elsa, Montalcino, Montepulciano, Monteriggioni, Monteroni d’Arbia, Murlo, Pienza, Poggibonsi, Rapolano Terme, San Casciano dei Bagni, San Gimignano, Sarteano, Sinalunga, Sovicille, Torrita di Siena and Trequanda in the province of Siena.

7.   Main wine grapes variety(ies)

Sangiovese

8.   Description of the link(s)

8.1.   Natural factors

The production area is located in central Tuscany, spanning the hillier parts of the provinces of Arezzo, Florence, Pistoia, Pisa, Prato and Siena, not far from the Apennines. Given its sheer size, the Chianti territory can be divided into four geological systems in descending order of age of formation: the Miocene/Eocene pre-Apennine ridges, the Pliocene hills, the valley formed by the Upper Valdarno basin and the Pleistocene deposits, and the alluvial deposits.

The complexity of the geological and morphological terrain and the continuous overlap between human activity and the soil-forming factors have resulted in an extremely diverse soil landscape. Given that the soils developed over the course of different geological eras, even within the same holding it is possible to go from sandstone and calcareous marl substrates to clayey schists and sand, or soils containing particles of different sizes sometimes tending towards sandy or clay. This guarantees an adequate supply of naturally occurring nutrients, supplemented by regular soil and/or foliar fertilisation by the winegrowers, all of which combines to ensure that the analytical and organoleptic characteristics required of the grapes and wine respectively in order to qualify for the ‘Chianti’ PDO are achieved by the end of the growth cycle.

The area has the typical climate of the Tuscan inland hills: a humid to sub-humid climate with dry summers and average annual rainfall of 867 mm. This enables the grapes to ripen properly, which means they easily meet the basic analytical parameters required by the product specification for ‘Chianti’ PDO wines.

Rainfall usually peaks in November at 121 mm, with minimum average rainfall of 32 mm occurring in July.

August is the warmest month on average with mean temperatures above 23 °C, while the coldest month is usually January, with mean temperatures of around 5 °C.

Human factors

The symbiotic link between the human factors and the production area are of vital importance. The fact that fossilised vines dating back tens of millions of years have been found in Tuscany suggests that vines were grown well before Etruscan times. Throughout the centuries, grapevines have always been the area’s main crop, and winegrowing progressed a great deal once the Medici family ascended to power. As early as the second half of the fifteenth century, wine was being depicted in popular culture as the essence of a theatre of wit and banality verging on the grotesque in Lorenzo de’ Medici’s Symposium and The Triumph of Bacchus. Later, in 1870, thanks to the vision of Baron Bettino Ricasoli, the grape variety combination used to produce ‘Chianti’ was established, and special wine-making techniques such as the Governo all’uso Toscano were introduced.

The shift from share-farming to ‘straight’ farming in the 1970s meant that vines grown in mixed cropping systems were replaced by specialised vineyards, often planted in a vertical ‘rittochino’ layout following the direction of the slopes. Forward-thinking, entrepreneurial Florentine winegrowers set up the Chianti Wine Consortium in 1927 for the purpose of defending and protecting what was then ‘typical Chianti’ in both domestic trade and exports. The ‘Chianti’ production area was officially demarcated for the first time in a government decree dated 31 July 1932, followed by the awarding of DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) status in 1967 and DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) status in 1984.

The link with the demarcated geographical area is proven by the way the specific features of the environment (the hilly terrain, soil type and structure, ‘humid to sub-humid’ climate with temperatures variations and dry summers) interact with historical tradition (with winegrowing starting in Etruscan times, then developing and becoming widespread with the support of the Medici family in the fifteenth century, followed by the formulation of ‘Chianti’ wine by Baron Ricasoli in the late 1800s).

8.2.   Human factors

The human factors (such as how the grafts and vine varieties are selected, the percentages of vine varieties used in the blends, the vine-training methods, the exclusion of trellises, the cultivation systems within the limits laid down in the product specification proposed and approved by the winegrowers, the ban on forced production and irrigation of the vineyards except in emergencies, the possibility of green harvesting and the decision on when to harvest the grapes) combine with the natural factors typical of the hilly area of central Tuscany where ‘Chianti’ PDO wines are made. These factors combined help to enhance the quality of the grapes produced and result in wines with very complex aromas, body and appropriate alcoholic strength. Just the right amount of acidity allows for a high degree of flexibility, so it is possible to produce wines that are ready to drink and others suited to ageing such as the Riserva and Superiore categories.

8.3.   Description of the causal interaction between the natural and human factors and the characteristics of the wines

More specifically, the latitude, topography and nature of the soil — with percentages of clay, sand and loam and soil skeleton varying across the production area — all influence the quantity and, above all, quality, of the grapes grown to make ‘Chianti’ wines.

These factors combine perfectly with the red variety that is native to the area (Sangiovese N.) and also the international varieties introduced more recently (such as Merlot and Cabernet) and historical white varieties (Trebbiano and Malvasia Lunga Toscana, for example). The product specification sets minimum and maximum percentages for these vine varieties that balance production and quality requirements in order to produce a range of wines tailored to different markets.

The moment the grapes are harvested depends on how good the weather conditions are. The harvest usually begins in early September, but may be later depending on the area and particularly the altitude at which the vineyards are located. There is a perfect balance between acidity, pH and sugars in the ripe grapes, so the resulting wines have balanced analytical values. This excellent balance between sugars and acids, coupled with the phenolic ripeness of the grapes, gives wines that are characterised by a good aroma, balance, structure and body.

Last but not least, the wines are still made using the traditional practices that have become well established over time in the local area for making still red wines, differentiating appropriately by selecting the grapes from among the different types allowed and based on the specific characteristics of the various grape varieties, which are best suited for making ‘Chianti’ base wine and the more structured reds in the Riserva and Superiore categories. The product specification sets specific ageing rules for the different product types

9.   Essential further conditions

‘Chianti’ vinification, processing, ageing and refining area

Legal framework:

In EU legislation

Type of further condition:

Derogation on the production in the demarcated geographical area

Description of the condition:

In accordance with current EU legislation, the vinification, processing and ageing area has been revised so that the various stages of the production cycle for ‘Chianti’ PDO wine can be concentrated in the production area (which spans the entire administrative territories of the provinces of Arezzo, Florence, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato and Siena) plus the neighbouring provinces of Grosseto, Livorno and Lucca.

Each of the ‘Chianti’ PDO sub-area wines must be vinified, processed and aged within the production area defined for the sub-area in question. However, these operations may also be carried out at wineries located within the administrative territories of the provinces of Arezzo, Florence, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato or Siena or in the adjacent provinces of Grosseto, Livorno and Lucca, provided that these wineries were established prior to 5 August 1996 and belong to winegrowers whose crops are accepted for the production of wine with the ‘Chianti’ PDO sub-area identifier in question.

The aim behind limiting the vinification, processing and ageing stages to the production area or neighbouring zones is to safeguard the quality and reputation of ‘Chianti’ PDO wines, including those with additional sub-area identifiers.

Vinification of the grapes outside the production area could, as a result of the transport time required, compromise the end quality of wines bearing the ‘Chianti’ PDO, as the grapes might undergo abnormal fermentation processes during the journey, which generally happens due to the high temperatures at harvest time, or even be affected by microbiological contamination. Such factors may adversely affect the wine’s chemical, physical and organoleptic characteristics. The greater the distance between the wine-growing and wine-making areas, the more these risks increase. Conversely, ensuring that the grapes and wine remain in place or that movement is kept to a minimum for processing and ageing allows the characteristics and qualities of the basic product to be preserved as much as possible. This also protects the reputation of the ‘Chianti’ PDO, which represents over 3 000 winegrowers with an annual wine production of over 100 000 tonnes of grapes (equivalent to some 800 000 hectolitres).

These aspects, linked to the experience and extensive technical and scientific knowledge of the grapes and wines that ‘Chianti’ PDO winemakers have built up over the years, mean that processing and, where applicable, ageing can be carried out almost anywhere in the entire area of origin with the best techniques, designed to preserve all of the characteristics laid down in the product specification.

As well as safeguarding the quality of the products placed on the market, the purpose of processing and, where applicable, ageing in the production area is to ensure and guarantee the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of the respective controls and traceability by the control bodies and competent authorities, in compliance with the EU legislation in force.

‘Chianti’ bottling area

Legal framework:

In EU legislation

Type of further condition:

Packaging within the demarcated geographical area

Description of the condition:

The bottling and final refining area has been revised so that this stage of processing of ‘Chianti’ PDO wine can also be concentrated in the production area (which spans the entire territories of the provinces of Arezzo, Florence, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato and Siena) plus the adjoining provinces of Grosseto, Livorno and Lucca.

‘Chianti’ wines bearing a sub-area identifier must be bottled and, if applicable, refined in the final stage within the production area defined for the sub-area in question. However, these operations may also be carried out within the provinces of Arezzo, Florence, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato or Siena and in the adjoining provinces of Grosseto, Livorno and Lucca.

The aim behind limiting these stages to the production area or neighbouring zones is to safeguard the quality and reputation of ‘Chianti’ PDO wines, including those with additional sub-area identifiers.

Transport and bottling outside the production area can compromise the quality of the wine and have negative effects on its chemical, physical and organoleptic characteristics. The risks are proportionate to the increase in the distance between the production area and the bottling area. Conversely, avoiding or keeping movement to a minimum means that the characteristics of the product can be preserved unaltered, which helps maintain the excellent reputation of ‘Chianti’ PDO.

These aspects, which are linked to experience and sound technical-scientific knowledge, enable bottling to be completed in the region of origin with the best technological precautions with a view to preserving all of the physical, chemical and organoleptic characteristics described in the specification.

The purpose of bottling in the production area is also to ensure and guarantee the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of the respective controls and traceability by the control bodies and competent authorities, in compliance with the legislation in force.

Bottling within the demarcated area also guarantees food safety to the end consumer, as the product leaves the area of origin already packaged, labelled with quality assurance markings and having undergone the certification processes required by the product specification and the PDO rules.

However, in accordance with the legislation in force, in order to safeguard established rights, bottling companies concerned can apply for a derogation to continue bottling at their premises located outside the demarcated area, subject to the conditions laid down and notified in advance to all producers on a non-discriminatory basis.

The procedure enables bottling companies concerned to submit the relevant application to the Ministry, enclosing documentation proving that they have been bottling ‘Chianti’ PDO wines for at least 2 (not necessarily consecutive) years out of the 5 years preceding the entry into force of the amendment introducing the requirement for bottling to take place in the area.

These individual derogations are aligned with both the specific national legislation and with EU law.

Timing of releasing ‘Chianti’ for consumption

Legal framework:

In national legislation

Type of further condition:

Additional provisions relating to labelling

Description of the condition:

‘Chianti’ PDO wine is placed on the market at different points in time, which vary depending on the soil characteristics, climate factors, vine variety combinations and altitudes above sea level found in the large portion of Tuscany occupied by the vineyards that provide the grapes used to make ‘Chianti’ PDO wines (including those with additional geographical identifiers). Basic ‘Chianti’ PDO wine, along with ‘Chianti’ Colli Aretini, ‘Chianti’ Colli Senesi, ‘Chianti’ Colline Pisane and ‘Chianti’ Montalbano, may not be placed on the market before 1 March of each year. ‘Chianti’ Montespertoli may not be placed on the market before 1 June of each year, while ‘Chianti’ Colli Fiorentini, ‘Chianti’ Rufina and ‘Chianti’ Superiore may only be marketed from 1 September of each year. Moreover, the wines can only be released for consumption if they meet the chemical, physical and organoleptic requirements laid down for the different types.

Link to the product specification

https://www.politicheagricole.it/flex/cm/pages/ServeBLOB.php/L/IT/IDPagina/14329


(1)   OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 671, ELI: http://data.europa.eu/eli/reg/2013/1308/oj


ELI: http://data.europa.eu/eli/C/2024/2474/oj

ISSN 1977-091X (electronic edition)


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