Wine and culture: Chianti Rufina

 

Chianti Rufina

Chianti Rufina is a Sangiovese-based red wine produced in one of the 8 subzones of Tuscany’s Chianti area, and is probably the most well known after the famous Chianti Classico.

However, this zone’s wines can confuse most wine drinkers, as Rufina wine has nothing to do with Ruffino, the wine producer.

The Chianti Rufina zone is situated to the east of Florence and includes the area of Dicomano, Londa, Rufina, Pelago and Pontassieve. The Rufina area is more mountainous and less ‘hilly’ then the Chianti Classico zone and the climate is more continental.

The Rufina zone together with Montespertoli zone is the smallest in Chianti. But despite the small area, Rufina ranks 3rd – after the Classico and Colli Senes zones – in terms of quantity because more than 7% of its territory is cultivated with vines.

The first evidence of Rufina wine dates back to the 15th century. In 1716, it was officially recognised by Cosimo III, the Grand Duke of Tuscany.

In 1967, Chianti Rufina was awarded DOC status, followed by DOCG status in 1984.

According to the DOCG rules, a Chianti Rufina has to comprise of at least 70% Sangiovese, complemented by other varieties produced in Tuscany.

Generally, Chianti Rufina used to be a mostly light-bodied and not very aged wine, but since the 1980s producers have been creating more serious, rich and age-worthy wines. Today, some Rufina wines are among the best Chiantis.

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