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On Friday 24th May the Casa Chianti Classico in Radda hosted the third edition of Vignaioli di Radda. On this occasion we had the chance to meet some local wine producers and, of course, taste their wines.

Vignaioli di Radda is still young, but all the producers who have joined it have clear ideas, shared by everyone.

Their main goal is to promote the locally produced wine, as stated by president Roberto Bianchi of the Val delle Corti winery, without implying any homologation among the winemakers that make up the association.

Diversity is seen as a strength. In fact, companies of different sizes and with different concepts live together within the association.
As an example, Riccardo Lanza from Pruneto (a very small winery) tells us that “to tell the truth, this association has two great merits: the first is the promotional activity, and the second, which is really important, is to connect the producers, who’ve traditionally been divided”.

Federica Mascheroni of Castello di Volpaia also believes that unity is strength, and that the lack of a common intent is a potential problem: “I’d say not only in our area, but at national level. That’s why I strongly support the project of this association. Working together is good for all of us, also considering that the Radda wine territory has always had a strong identity, as well as being of the highest quality”.

Among the professionals, Radda wines are enjoying a success that up to fifteen or twenty years ago would have seemed impossible. We asked President Roberto Bianchi to explain why: “I like to say that Radda is a bit of a Cinderella, a kitchen maid for many years who finally becomes a princess. The increase in temperatures has certainly benefited this territory, but this is only part of the explanation. Radda is now one of the most attentive and reactive areas in respect to climate change, as well as one of the most dynamic”.

“Furthermore – he adds – being left behind for a long time has actually allowed the producers from Radda to refrain from altering their territory, and enabled them to keep total trust in the Sangiovese grape variety. Today this allows us to look at the future with more serenity, while some other territories can’t”.

And how does the association present itself within Chianti Classico? “The Chianti Classico territory has an immense potential. What is true for our association, is also true for the Chianti Classico: our differences must become our strength”.

We then asked the president if the association is in favour of introducing the zoning concept: “The subject of zoning is very complex. We hope that the municipal zoning and all wine types will be recognised, from the Chianti Classico to the Gran Selezione”.

Finally we asked which were the best vintages, and some prediction for the future years. They all agree that 2015 and 2016 were great vintages, especially 2016, that many say best expresses the full potential of the Sangiovese from Radda.

For example, Diego Finocchi of Erta di Radda tells us that “the 2016 vintage is the one I’m most happy with. It definitely reflects what my idea of ​​Chianti Classico is: good acidity and balance”.

Producers are also satisfied with the “troubled” ’17 vintage, that resulted in smaller quantities but excellent quality.

Only time will tell what the future of this wine area will bring. However we can definitely assure you that the Vignaioli di Radda won’t be sitting on their hands.

Emanuele Grazzini