While in the Veneto region of Italy earlier this month I had a chance to take a side trip to Tuscany and its über famous region of Chianti. You can blame its popularity on those tubby, straw-wrapped bottles or that it was Hannibal Lecter’s favourite fava bean affinity; either way everyone has heard of the place.
I made a beeline for the sub-region of Classico (which in winespeak means the oldest, and some would say best, part of the area) to check out Castello di Gabbiano — a modern winery with an incredible 12th century castle as a centerpiece that overlooks the vineyards from its hilltop perch.
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Gabbiano’s liquid personality is traditional with a contemporary sensibility and the 2008 Chianti DOCG ($12.95 - $16.99) shows that balance with its soft cherry fruit and bright ripe flavour that sees no oak aging and is made from 90 per cent sangiovese — Chianti’s signature grape.
The fruit for the 2008 Pinot Grigio delle Venezie IGT ($12.80 - $13.99) isn’t local — it’s grown a few hours away in the regional grouping of Tre Venezie and includes a bit of chardonnay and garganega in the blend. Creamy, citrusy and refreshing; it makes an ideal summer sipper.