In Chianti, villa rentals are located in one of the world’s best-known wine producing regions. Yet the history of this hasn’t always been either smooth or harmonious.
Antiquity and medieval indifference
In Chianti, villa rentals may be located in an area synonymous with quality Italian wines but that wasn’t necessarily always the case. Wine making here goes back to at least Etruscan times around the 8th century BC but it is first recorded specifically as Chianti in the 14th century. Surprisingly, the first known of these wines weren’t red at all but white.
As far as it is possible to tell from records, the wine seems to have been relatively little known outside of the region itself and perhaps some of the major population centres of Italy. Certainly it seems to have made little international impact at a time when the wines of France and Spain were relatively dominant.
The migration of the wine from white to red seems to be somewhat confused in the historical records. What is clear is that by the late medieval period three villages/small towns in the region had formed themselves into an association for the production of the wine – something that would later form the basis of the denomination control?� (denominazione di origine controllata or DOCG) quality control recognition.
Yet even by the 18th century, the wine was still held in scant regard outside of the area of production and some parts of wider Italy, with one Anglo-Irish member of the British nobility describing it in disparaging terms as being bitter and disagreeable.
Things change
By the 19th century, production techniques had improved considerably and this went hand-in-hand with the increased scientific understanding villas near hoskote of the processes involved. This progress however was, in part, mitigated by the widely varying, non-standardised and occasionally idiosyncratic way the wine was produced. This meant that wines called Chianti often comprised hugely different grape combinations, with one being unrecognisable when compared to another.
In 1872, a future prime minister of the new united Italy created the first established ‘recipe’ for the wine, which specified what grapes were to be used and in what percentages. Today, Chianti villa rentals might be based amongst vineyards that owe much to his insistence on standardisation.
By the middle 20th century, this standardisation had led to the wines beginning to establish an international reputation. Having said that, the rigid control of the grape-growing areas coupled with the precise requirements for grape varieties perhaps led to a degree of complacency and stagnation. Other wines began to evolve and push the margins in terms of sophisticated taste. Ironically, some of this was due to the rise of other Tuscan wines, which although unable to qualify for designation as Chiantis, began to build phenomenal international reputations.
In the 1990s, the authorities recognised the huge international impact the Tuscan non-controlled wines were having and re-designated certain aspects of the wines in order to accommodate them – an action which has again lifted the wine to the forefront of connoisseurs’ attention.
When in Chianti, villa rentals will allow you the freedom to experience and explore a large number of vineyards. As you do so, you may wish to remember the phenomenal history behind them!
In Chianti, villa rentals are located in one of the world’s best-known wine producing regions. Yet the history of this hasn’t always been either smooth or harmonious.
Antiquity and medieval indifference
In Chianti, villa rentals may be located in an area synonymous with quality Italian wines but that wasn’t necessarily always the case. Wine making here goes back to at least Etruscan times around the 8th century BC but it is first recorded specifically as Chianti in the 14th century. Surprisingly, the first known of these wines weren’t red at all but white.
As far as it is possible to tell from records, the wine seems to have been relatively little known outside of the region itself and perhaps some of the major population centres of Italy. Certainly it seems to have made little international impact at a time when the wines of France and Spain were relatively dominant.
The migration of the wine from white to red seems to be somewhat confused in the historical records. What is clear is that by the late medieval period three villages/small towns in the region had formed themselves into an association for the production of the wine – something that would later form the basis of the denomination control?� (denominazione di origine controllata or DOCG) quality control recognition.
Yet even by the 18th century, the wine was still held in scant regard outside of the area of production and some parts of wider Italy, with one Anglo-Irish member of the British nobility describing it in disparaging terms as being bitter and disagreeable.
Things change
By the 19th century, production techniques had improved considerably and this went hand-in-hand with the increased scientific understanding of the processes involved. This progress however was, in part, mitigated by the widely varying, non-standardised and occasionally idiosyncratic way the wine was produced. This meant that wines called Chianti often comprised hugely different grape combinations, with one being unrecognisable when compared to another.
In 1872, a future prime minister of the new united Italy created the first established ‘recipe’ for the wine, which specified what grapes were to be used and in what percentages. Today, Chianti villa rentals might be based amongst vineyards that owe much to his insistence on standardisation.
By the middle 20th century, this standardisation had led to the wines beginning to establish an international reputation. Having said that, the rigid control of the grape-growing areas coupled with the precise requirements for grape varieties perhaps led to a degree of complacency and stagnation. Other wines began to evolve and push the margins in terms of sophisticated taste. Ironically, some of this was due to the rise of other Tuscan wines, which although unable to qualify for designation as Chiantis, began to build phenomenal international reputations.
In the 1990s, the authorities recognised the huge international impact the Tuscan non-controlled wines were having and re-designated certain aspects of the wines in order to accommodate them – an action which has again lifted the wine to the forefront of connoisseurs’ attention.
When in Chianti, villa rentals will allow you the freedom to experience and explore a large number of vineyards. As you do so, you may wish to remember the phenomenal history behind them!