A streamlined version of the Expo del Chianti Classico fair is going ahead this week in the picturesque town of Greve, located in the midst of vineyards home to the grapes which are utilized in this world-famous wine.
EXPO DEL CHIANTI CLASSICO WINE FAIR
Sat. 12 – Sun. 13. Piazza Matteotti, Greve in Chianti. Hours: 4 – 9 pm (Saturday), 2– 8 pm (Sunday) followed by DJ sets. Admission: € 10, includes an electronic wristband, a souvenir wine glass and six tickets to trade in for tastings of Chianti Classico and IGT (one ticket) and Chianti Classico Riserva wines, Gran Selezione and Vin Santo (two tickets). The SITA runs a bus service departing close to the Florence station.
Unlike other editions, producers will not be on hand to present their wines; instead a pavilion in the square—where sommeliers will serve tastings from a selection of 130 wines from 60 estates—will display vintages from the Chianti Classico consortium production zone, sold at selected stores in Greve or online.
Registration to enter the event will take place in front of Greve’s Town Hall, where each guest’s temperature will be measured using a thermal scanner, and entry will proceed in accordance with current safety protocols, including social distancing and the wearing of face masks. In addition to touring the main pavilion, there will be small group guided tastings of wine and extra-virgin olive oil for which reservations are requested by sending an email to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, guided walks have been organized to discover the classic Chianti countryside on Saturday at 4 pm and Sunday beginning at 9 am. Choose an event by visiting the expochianticlassico.com website.
As always, there will be live music in and around Piazza Matteotti, with local shops open all day until late. Tuscan craftspeople will display and create hand-made goods in the square on Saturday from 4 to 11 pm on Saturday and 10 am to 7 pm on Sunday.
Estates in the area will welcome visitors for tours of their cellars and personalized wine tastings between September 11 and 20. Sixteen local producers represented at the Expo Chianti Classico, who would normally at the Expo in person to talk about their wine, have united to provide “Open Cellars” visits for guests directly at the respective estate of each; a list of the participating vineyards is available on the website and registration is required.
Visiting the Expo Chianti Classico offers an opportunity to increase one’s knowledge of the multifaceted wine world and to discover the Tuscan ‘king of vines’: the Sangiovese grape, which composes between 80% and 100% of the vintage. Standard characteristics are: ruby red in color, changing to garnet with aging, distinguished by a pleasing varied nose ranging from violets, currants, ripe cherries and berries, punctuated by spicy notes. The flavor is equally fruity, harmonious with crispy tannins that tend to soften with aging and a lingering aftertaste—precisely the qualities for which the wine has become famous. Independent from the rest of the Chianti wine region, “Chianti Classico is in fact a trade name completely autonomous from other Chianti denominations since 1996 (Ministerial Decree, August 5), according to a consortium spokesperson. Chianti Classico is produced in the provinces of Florence and Siena, notably in the areas around Greve in Chianti, Castellina in Chianti, Radda in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti and several places not far from San Casciano Val di Pesa and Barberino Tavarnelle. Also available for tasting, Vin Santo has been enjoyed in Tuscany as an ending to a meal for centuries and is historically considered to be the wine of friendship and hospitality. The finest has a deep, beautiful, straw color and has scents of hazelnut, vanilla and sweet oak with accents of apricot and lychee fruit.
Italy’s wine producers face a set of particularly difficult challenges this year with a combination of adverse conditions from home and abroad. In the meantime, the Expo del Chianti Classico fair offers a chance to become acquainted with, taste and purchase wine at its pure Tuscan source. (rosanna cirigliano)