On the day of our departure, we visited and enjoyed a tasting at Solatione in Greve, family owned and operated since 1972. In 1992, flame-haired brother and sister Fabio and Francesca decided to bottle their own wines and carry out the dream of their late father. One of the more amusing aspects of this visit was when the charming Francesca showed us one of the tanks with a typical minuscule opening. When someone asked how it was cleaned, Francesca described in an amusing fashion how a giant man was able to fit himself inside. Our final visit was Fattoria Le Corti, a historic estate where we enjoyed a tour of the winery, tasting, and lunch.
Overall, the key takeaway point from the trip was the passion the Chianti Classico producers had for their wine and their D.O.C.G. region. A surprising number of the producers were young, inherited the winery when they had established other careers, yet despite the ups and downs of the wine production trade consider producing wine a labor of love as well as a source of revenue. Far from the stereotype that once plagued the name “Chianti wine,” these producers will do anything in their power to create better wines, whether it is investing in expensive new winery equipment, pulling up old vines, or planting new clones. These producers are dynamic, creative, and enormously resourceful.
This youthful energy is perhaps behind many of the new changing laws in Chianti Classico, as producers now desire to create a wine that consumers actually want to buy instead of sticking to tradition. Perhaps the best visual representation of this new energy comes from the home of Ludovica Fabbri, as her living room is constructed directly over an old olive oil press visitors can see through a window pane on the floor. Yes, the Chianti Classico region is founded on its unique terroir, but its new generation of producers are taking it into the new century.