Azienda Agricola San Benedetto Chianti Tradizione
New Vintage! Some people say "Chianti is just pizza wine." It's true that Chianti's a natural with pizza, but when it's medium-bodied, with good acidity and ripe fruit flavors, there are plenty of other things to eat with it too.
The Gianelli family runs Azienda Agricola San Benedetto, a producer of wine and olive oil in the Chianti region of Tuscany. The family has nearly a century of history growing wine grapes and olives, beginning in the 1920s. For years prior, the family had been sharecroppers for a farm called Casaccia. As the tenant farmers began to buy their lands, the Gianellis -- brothers Dario and Guiseppe -- bought land near San Benedetto. They built a winery on their property in 1975. The farm and agriturismo is now owned by Giovanni Marinaro (Giuseppe's son) and Andrea and Marco Gianelli (Dario's grandsons).
San Benedetto has 25 hectares of vineyards and 2 of olive groves. Eighty percent of the grapes are red grapes, mostly Sangiovese with some Canaiolo, Malvasia, Colorino, and Ciliegiolo (which mostly add color to the red wine), along with a bit of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Montepulciano. Seventy percent of the white grapes are Vernaccia di San Gimignano, and the rest are Trebbiano, Malvasia, Vermentino, and Sancolombano. The red grapes go into Chianti Tradizione and Chianti Riserva, plus an everyday and a more elegant red blends, and Vin Santo and Grappa. San Bendetto also produces Vernaccia and Vermentino whites.
The Chianti Tradizione reflects the proportions of red grapes grown at San Benedetto. It's 80% Sangiovese, and the remainder is Colorino, Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo, and Malvasia. It's a light- to medium-bodied red wine with good acidity and flavors of cherries and plums. Everyone thinks "Pizza Wine" for Chianti and it is -- but it's also a favorite with heartier fish dishes, too.
||Lighter Red Wine
||Azienda Agricola San Benedetto
Pizza, burger, snacks, salmon and other hearty fish, tomato-based dishes