Bouquet of spices and berries
On the slopes of the Tosco-Romagnolo Apennines, to the north-east of Florence, opens up a positively lovely landscape with an abundance of historical and natural riches: this is the Val di Sieve.
The municipality of Rufina forms part of it and it is a historical wine-making area, one of the most important in Tuscany, where Chianti Rufina takes shape.
An elegant wine with a bold personality, rightly tannic and very acidic, its aroma is reminiscent of a bouquet of berries and spices.
The first historical documents regarding the wines of Rufina date back to the early fifteenth century, having received the official recognition with the edict of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in the eighteenth century and the grading as one of the "best four" wines produced in Tuscany by Cosimo III, in the public notice of 24 September 1716: it was already one of the best-loved and most popular wines in Italy at that time.
It was with the ministerial decree of 1932 that the first delimited zone of production of Chianti wine was established as well as the various geographical specifications: Rufina was among these.
In 1976 it was appointed as a DOC (Protected Designation of Origin) product before becoming a DOCG (Controlled and Warranted Designation of Origin) product in 1984.
Chianti Rufina is the smallest of the seven Chianti specifications and its area of production, which covers 12,483 hectares, is scattered between the municipalities of Dicomano, Pontassieve, Pelago, Rufina and Londa.
What particularly distinguishes Chianti Rufina, and makes it stand out from the other Chianti wines, lies in the special conditions in which the Sangiovese grapes grow: soils that are rich in mineral salts, consisting of calcareous, alberese and galestro rocks, are exposed to the sun in the south to south-west aspect, instilling the grapes with a deep ruby colour.
Thanks to the micro-climate with high temperature during the sun and lower ones at night, the aroma is maintained, developing some hints of acidity.
In 1980 the Chianti Rufina Consortium was founded, now chaired by Lorenzo Mariani (from I Veroni).
There are 21 members out of the 22 prestigious Chianti producers.
"The role that the consortium plays today," explains Cesare Coda Nunziante, Vice-President of the consortium, "is not only the promotion of this very special wine and the ongoing research of its characterization, but the promotion and safeguard of the entire area in which it is produced.
In Italy there's also strong competition between the various types of Chianti and it's not incidental that most of the production, approximately 70%, is exported thanks, among others, to the presence of the Frescobaldi winery."