The Chianti Classico 2000 Project
The Chianti Classico 2000 project was conceived in the late 1980s due to the need for viticultural renewal in the Chianti Classico production area, initiating a study of agronomic techniques and plant material to obtain new and valuable information for the replanting of vineyards. Developed by the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico, the project also gained recognition from the European Community, which has partly financed it. The project was carried out with the collaboration of the Universities of Florence and Pisa. It lasted 16 years, split into three cycles, during which checks and controls were carried out in the field, followed by the collection and processing of data and finally the publication and dissemination of the results.
For the viticultural research 16 experimental vineyards were planted covering a total area of 25 hectares, while for the enological research 5 cellars were organized to make wine for each experimental type; at the same time 10 agro-meteorological stations were installed in the most significant parts of the territory from a climatic point of view.
Within the project, six fundamental themes for the realization of modern viticulture have been identified and verified in the field.
- The first of the six themes studied was aimed at verifying the agronomic behavior and enological value of approved clones of some dark-skinned grape varieties (Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Colorino and Malvasia Nera) already grown in the territory and included in the Chianti Classico blend.
- The second analyzed the characteristics of a series of rootstocks, both those that are currently most widely used and considered to be best suited to the soil and climate of the Chianti environment, and those that have never been tested in the Chianti area.
- The third studied the most suitable plant density in relation to the environment and the desired production level. In practice, it was a matter of determining through experimental methods the relationship between plant densities and the vegetative-productive behavior of the vineyard with particular reference to the quality of grapes and wine.
- The fourth dealt with forms of vine training to understand the impact each has on the quality of grapes and wines produced, also taking into account the need to reduce the costs of manual pruning.
- The fifth analyzed in depth the techniques of soil management to be adopted in the vineyard with the aim of assessing the possibility of implementing controlled grassing to improve vineyard maintenance and at the same time contribute to protecting the environment by limiting the phenomenon of erosion.
- The sixth was aimed at clonal selections of the main grape varieties used in the production of Chianti Classico (Sangiovese, Canaiolo and Colorino).
This resulted in the identification of 239 possible clones, from which 24 clones of Sangiovese, 8 clones of Canaiolo and 2 clones of Colorino were selected; after having been found to be free from major viral diseases, they were then subjected to further technological controls. At the end of the experimental period, seven new clones of Sangiovese and one of Colorino were approved and entered into the National Register of Vine Varieties under the title “Chianti Classico 2000” (CCL 2000).