Seventeen farmers. Three municipalities. One common vision. These are the roots of Chianti Geografico, one of Chianti Classico’s most important estates. To commemorate its 60th anniversary, Geografico has proudly unveiled I Terzieri, a new line of three wines that pay homage to the winery’s roots in Radda, Castellina, and Gaiole.
The name “Terzieri” nods back to the ancient designation for the three villages of Radda, Castellina, and Gaiole. Each wine in the line celebrates Sangiovese—the iconic grape of Chianti Classico—in different terroir-driven expressions: Terziere di Tramontano from Radda, which showcases elegant red fruit and mineral notes; Terziere di Levante from Gaiole, a spice-driven wine with fine, ripe tannins; and Terziere di Ponente from Castellina, with its warm and generous fruit. An homage to the past, an eye towards the future: that is the essence of Terzieri.
During the Middle Ages, the Chianti region often served as a battleground for disputes between Siena and Florence. In the 13th century, Florence finally controlled the portion of the region comprised of the three aforementioned villages. Peace was restored and the Chianti League was formed. Its legacy is still honored today by the black rooster symbol which graces the label of all Chianti Classico wines.
Over the centuries, Chianti Classico both thrived and fell on hard times. In 1961, seventeen farmers, determined to change their fate and that of the struggling region, built Chianti’s first cooperative, the Agricoltori del Chianti Geografico. With a progressive mission—to improve the region’s economic conditions and the quality of the wines through collaboration—they soon attracted more members to their fledgling organization.
Within a decade, Chianti Geografico became so successful, the farmers built a new winery in Gaiole to help keep pace with demand. An official label was created, which bore the three coats of arms of Radda, Gaiole, and Castellina. Bottles were sold throughout Italy and abroad. In 1989, the cooperative purchased the neighboring Cantina di San Gimignano, which allowed it to focus on white wine production as well.
Over the ensuing decades, the cooperative continued to invest in modern equipment for its high-quality wine production, but the economic climate took a downturn in the 2010s. The Piccini family, long admirers of the wines from the cooperative, stepped in to help with management in 2015 and in 2018 acquired the winery outright.
Now under the guidance of Alessandro Barabesi, who was named “Winemaker of the Year” by the prestigious Italian publication WineMag, the Piccini family continues to fulfill the mission of those 17 grape growers determined decades ago. All great wine starts with great fruit, and Piccini set up a program to ensure fair and immediate payment to all their farming partners. By creating strong partnerships throughout the entire supply chain, the Piccini family can continue to elevate the high standards already set in place.
To learn more about I Terzieri and its three village-expressive wines, click here.
Last Updated: May 9, 2023