Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
What’s the difference between Chianti Classico and Chianti Superiore?
—Sunil M., Hong Kong
Let’s start with what’s similar first. Both Chianti Classico and Superiore are red wines from the Chianti district in Italy’s Tuscany region. Both are made primarily from Sangiovese grapes. Even though “Classico” and “Superiore” sound like they might be statements about the quality of the wine, in fact they are designations, or Denominaziones di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG), with different requirements for which grapes go into the wine and how long it is aged.
Chianti Classico is named for where it is grown: Classico is one of seven subregions within Chianti, and Classicos must be at least 80 percent Sangiovese and aged for 10 months. Chianti Superiore gets its designation not from a region, but production and aging requirements. Grapes for a Superiore can come from any of the subregions within Chianti (except for Classico) and the wines must be aged for nine months, three of which must be in bottle before being released.
Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...
Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more
Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions