Ser Lapo: the label
The label of this important vintage is dedicated to Ser Lapo Mazzei, a famous ancestor regarded as the pioneer of Chianti Classico. In fact, in 1398, Ser Lapo, who was a "notary", thus wrote to Piero di Tino di Riccio: "By 16 December (1398), 3 florins 26 dinars and 8 coins must be paid to Piero di Tino Riccio for 6 barrels of Chianti wine .... We shall pay this sum as evidenced by the letter of Ser Lapo Mazzei."
It is a notarial deed of sale and is the first historical evidence of the use of the word “Chianti” with reference to a wine production region ("Chianti Wine") which anticipates the Chianti Classico denomination.
On the upper part of the label there is a faithful reproduction of the document drawn up by Ser Lapo, whose handwriting is clearly visible and can be deciphered by the lovers of philology. These few lines - elegantly written by a highly-educated person - depicts Florence in the Middle Ages, where the quality of wine was already an important issue, as Ser Lapo wrote in another document: "Do not worry about the cost of that wine, although it was expensive: a pleasant taste heals all the wounds."
The original documents written by Ser Lapo Mazzei are kept at the Datini Archive at the State Archive of Prato.
Do you really know the difference between Chianti and Chianti Classico?
In 1716 Grand Duke Cosimo III established the administrative boundaries of the Chianti region, an area between the provinces of Siena and Florence: it was characterised by the production of a high-quality wine, which was named after the production area. In the 20th century, as a result of the increasing national and international demand, the winemakers began to produce Chianti even beyond the area established by Cosimo III, and called it 'Chianti' or Chianti-like wine'.
Then, in 1924, the producers founded the “Consortium for the protection of Chianti wine and its mark of origin” with the aim of safeguarding the original production area. The symbol was a black rooster, which recalled the historic emblem of the ancient Chianti Military League. Since then, the 'Black Rooster' has been representing the most ancient denomination of origin in the world. In 1932, according to a ministerial decree, the term 'Classic' was added to distinguish the “noble” region identified by Cosimo III from the following Chianti areas.