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Chianti Classico is celebrating its ﬁrst 300 years, a long history that begins on September 24, 1716. On that date, for the ﬁrst time in history a wine territory is born.
Grand Duke Cosimo III de’ Medici decided to outline individual territories as areas of high quality wine production with a bann that sanctioned its borders.
The bann was called “Sopra la Dichiarazione de’ conﬁni delle Quattro regioni Chianti, Pomino, Carmignano and Vald’Arno di Sopra” and established these four areas of wine production. The most extensive area was contained between the cities of Florence and Siena, the land of Chianti, today called Chianti Classico.
The territory already demonstrated its richness and fame in wine production which gave the grand Duke the idea to protect and regulate it. For Cosimo III’s Tuscany, the wine was already a strategic product. Even Queen Anne of England appreciated it enough to give it as gifts to friends and allies, thus spreading the fame of Tuscan wine in the world.
The archives are testimony to the efforts of the sixth grand Duke of the Medici’s to widen the net of commercial wine dealing during the Spanish war of Succession (1702-1714). During the years of the war Tuscany remained neutral, avoiding the production and commercial hardships of other European wine producers involved in the conﬂict.
This historic event gave rise to the deﬁnitive ascent of Tuscan wines, in particular the wine produced in the Chianti area which became consistently more well known, appreciated and sought after in the whole world.
Following its great success, the ﬁrst attempts to counterfeit the wine began.
The Bann of 1716 should be looked at in this frame: the necessity of the grand Dukedom to control the most valued wines, those commercially most at risk. Connected to this was another decree which clearly put in evidence the rules of sale and the penalty for who disobeyed.
“300 years after that Bann”, declares Sergio Zingarelli, president of the Consortium, “the Chianti Classico territory can be deﬁned as a real production district, among the few in Italy to boast a centuries old history. Today more than ever, thanks to the forward thinking of the grand Duke Cosimo lll, it is our job to regulate, protect and give value to this unique product, synonym of absolute quality”.