A Passion for Wine at the ‘Chianti Lovers’ Fair

The second weekend in February is full of opportunities to increase one’s knowledge of the multifaceted wine world and to discover the Tuscan ‘king of vines’: the Sangiovese grape.

Designed for the public to sample and judge Tuscan wines just before they are placed on the market, events to experience Sangiovese in your glass include Chianti Lovers Anteprime 2019 Preview (which incorporates the presence of Morellino di Scansano producers) in Florence.

The fifth edition of “Chianti Lovers” will take place on Sunday, February 10, organized by the Consorzio Vino Chianti (Chianti Wine Consortium) and Consorzio Tutela Morellino di Scansano (Morellino di Scansano Consortium) at the Fortezza da Basso.  The public is welcome from 4 to 9 pm.  Admission is €15, which comprises a wine glass, tastings and conversations with a choice of 150 producers, while trade professionals and the over 400 journalists expected can attend from 9:30 am to 4 pm.

Chianti and Morellino winemakers have gone on record saying that they are enthusiastic to unveil vintages from 2018, a year which insiders predict a wine of high quality in Tuscany thanks to high temperatures and little rain although the same conditions also resulted in a smaller quantity of grapes harvested.  The aroma or “nose” is expected to be a good reflection of Sangiovese’s qualities, including freshness, and well-balanced tannins.

Chianti and Morellino di Scansano have differences apart from the terroir – a unique environmental context which contributes to the diversity of flavors that can be distinguished – of each.  Chianti DOCG is composed of 75% to 100% Sangiovese, with the possible addition of Canaiolo and Colorino (both local grapes) or Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, which cannot exceed 15%; a small percentage of white grapes such as Malvasia is also permitted.  Morellino di Scansano is made with a minimum of 85% Sangiovese, which can be blended with no more than 15% of grape varieties native to Tuscany such as Ciliegiolo, Canaiolo and Malvasia nera.

These mandatory guidelines are interpreted by each producer’s enologist, who takes into consideration what the vineyards present every year, influenced by climate and other factors.

A variety of estates in Chianti and Maremma (home of Morellino di Scansano) are represented at Chianti Lovers, welcoming guests to sample wines from different areas to experience different notes – ranging from fruity to spicy – and nuances on the palate.  The position of Chianti DOCG vineyards, found in seven areas: Rufina, Colli Fiorentini (hills in the province of Florence), Colli Senesi (hills outside Siena), Colli Aretini (hills in the province of Arezzo), Montalbano, Colline Pisane (hills in the province of Pisa) and Montespertoli, also contributes to the uniqueness of each vintage.

Given that the number of visitors the 2018 edition (4,000) versus the 2017 (2,000), more space at the Fortezza da Basso, including the entire Canaviglia pavilion will be devoted to hosting the fair.  For the first time, a number of international buyers who will attend the ninth edition of “BuyWine,” a Tuscan wine showcase held at the Fortezza on February 8 and 9, will be given a guided tasting of Chianti DOCG at Chianti Lovers along with a presentation of historical aspects and characteristics of production.

Take a day to enjoy the common vine of Chianti Lovers preview, an event that focuses on a number of regional wines that are the personification of the Tuscan Sangiovese grape. (martina palmiero, sommelier/English version by rosanna cirigliano)