Posted on July 24th, 2008
Chianti Classico Festival
The second weekend in September is when the Chianti Classico wine festival in Greve in Chianti takes place. Much of the town centre is closed to traffic with the stands of all the major Chianti Classico wine producers arranged around the large central piazza. The idea is to purchase a glass which then entitles you to taste as many wines as you wish – sounds dangerous!
The following weekend it takes place all over again on a much smaller scale in the main square of Panzano in Chianti.
To be honest, I wasn’t overly impressed with Greve – it’s a little “big” or “developed”, not how I’d imagined Chianti. Having said that, it’s obviously very capable of putting on the Chianti Classico festival because of its size.
There are far nicer towns in Chianti, particularly Castellina where I stayed and the origin of the Castellare, the wine reviewed below.
Castellina in Chianti
Made just outside Castellina in Chianti (locate on a map) in Castellare vineyards (owner: Paolo Panerai).
- Very dry, high acidity
- Sour cherry
Made from Sangiovese (95%) and Canaiolo (5%)
More on the Castellare vineyards
Castellare wine labels show a different bird each year. The bird of the year is chosen among those who are threatened by extinction and this is a clear sign of the estate’s commitment in the care for the environment. As a matter of fact, herbicides and pesticides are not allowed in the cultivation neither is any kind of systemic chemical products.
Both no hunting and this kind of cultivation have helped the return of lots of species of local fauna which once were more widespread in the area. The birds on Castellare’s labels symbolise Mr. Panerai commitment to environmentally sound cultivation.
Herbicides are not used, nor are any systemic pesticides. Chemical treatment of any kind is shunned. Hunting is prohibited on the property. As a result of these practices over the 15 years of Mr. Panerai’s stewardship, the property has become a virtual refuge for wildlife, including many of the birds pictured on the labels.
(Text from Boccaccio Cellars, based in Victoria, Australia)
Castellare Chianti Classico 2005: available from wineshop.it for €12.45