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The Story Of The Black Rooster: The Symbol of Italy’s Chianti Classico Wines


The Story Of The Black Rooster: The Symbol of Italy’s Chianti Classico Wines

Chianti is a century old wine region in Tuscany and houses around seven sub-zones producing classic wines from Sangiovese, the main grape variety of the blend. Chianti Classico is the genuine gem of the region which stretches between Florence and Siena.

When Chianti Classico wines are spoken of, the black rooster is always a part of the conversation . It is placed on the neck of the bottle.

As legend has it, a rooster was destined to be on the labels. Florence and Siena, in medieval times were relentlessly dealing with a longstanding provincial land feud and each one of them expected larger border areas for themselves. To end this ancient dispute and establish legal borders, both the cities came up with an idea of an unusual race, horse riders would set on the race from their respective cities at the first light of day and wherever they meet would be the declared legal border. The only alarm clock available in the day to wake up the riders was the rooster. The Florence chose a black rooster and started starving him, for him to wake up earlier for food and Siena chose a white rooster and fed him a lot, thinking he will get used to the food that he will wake up early, overlooking the fact that his full stomach can make him lethargic.

As the Florentines had imagined, the black rooster cawed well before time and their rider started earlier and conquered much of the Chianti territory as compared to the Siena rider.

The black rooster is seen as an allegorical emblem of the event in Chianti since then and to this day the black rooster (Gallo Nero) stands proudly on every bottle of Chianti Classico. The symbol is designed as a black rooster on a white background with a burgundy rim for Chianti Classico and a golden rim for Riserva, a higher grade.

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