Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.


Published:  23 July, 2008

The planting of new vineyards in the Chianti Classico zone is marring the landscape and reducing the agricultural diversity of the region, according to Consorzio del Marche Storico Chianti Classico president Giovanni Ricasoli-Firidolfi.

We shouldn't only have vines on our hills. Our agriculture has to be more varied,' said Ricasoli-Firidolfi at a round table discussion on whether agricultural land in Chianti is being indiscriminately' converted to vineyards, held at the second annual Chianti Da Scoprire event, organised by wine estate Casafrassi in Castellina, near Siena, on 19 and 20 March. The discussion followed a tasting of wines and olive oils from 18 small, mainly family-run Chianti Classico producers.

Ricasoli-Firidolfi claims there has been a crisis in traditional farming' in Chianti in recent years, because many smaller family-run mixed agriculture farms have been sold and viticulture is dominating the region. He told Harpers that the vineyard area in Chianti Classico must not be allowed to exceed its current level of 7,000 hectares (ha), otherwise, the risk is that we will destroy the landscape.'

According to Giovanni Vidali of Casafrassi, an extra 600ha of farm land in Chianti Classico has been converted to vineyards in the past year, following the decision to award new planting rights to parcels of land not previously used for vines. According to Vidali, the only solution is to maintain typicity by planting indigenous grape varieties and promoting smaller estates' that are closer to the region's terroir and the true character of Chianti Classico'

By Josie Butchart