Tenuta di Nozzole is in the Chianti Classico region of Italy. Though it has been a wine producing estate for 700 years, it was purchased by the Folonari family in 1971. It is today owned and operated by Giovanni Folonari, who earned his degree in enology at the University of California at Davis and worked for Robert Mondavi before returning to help with the family estate. Nozzole makes Chianti, Super Tuscans and Chardonnay.
Chianti is Tuscany’s most famous and historic wine district, and the Chianti Classico DOCG is the most prestigious Chianti appellation. Fittingly, it is located in the heart of the larger Chianti DOCG. Chianti’s wines were so esteemed during the Renaissance that the Medici princes of Florence designated several villages within the Chianti region as discrete production zones, setting up the first appellations in Italy. By the 20th century Chianti was Italy’s primary wine export. But the pizza parlor Chiantis sent to foreign markets were inexpensive, unremarkable reds presented in round-bottomed, straw-covered bottles. To upgrade Chianti wines and the region’s image, the Chianti Classico DOC was created in 1967, then upgraded to DOCG status in 1984, with additional modifications made in 1996. In the last 20 years a consortium of Chianti Classico producers have researched new Sangiovese clones, replanted vineyards, updated cellar practices and generally made Chianti Classico DOCG a world-class appellation. Chianti Classico must contain a minimum of 75% Sangiovese. In the 2014 edition of its annual compendium of wine ratings, Gambero Rosso noted that Chianti Classico DOCG wines were noteworthy for their “significant return to a more defined style, true to tradition.”
This red grape is largely grown in central Italy. As the sole component or in a blend, it gives us Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino and Super Tuscans, among other favorites wines. The name is derived from the Latin for “blood of Jove.”