Chianti (pronounced [?kjanti]) is a red Italian wine produced in Tuscany. It was historically associated with a squat bottle enclosed in a straw basket, called a fiasco ("flask"; pl. fiaschi); however, the fiasco is only used by a few makers of the wine now; most Chianti is now bottled in more standard shaped wine bottles.
The first definition of a wine-area called Chianti was made in 1716. It described the area near the villages of Gaiole, Castellina and Radda.
In 1932 the Chianti area was completely re-drawn and divided in seven sub-areas: Classico, Colli Aretini, Colli Fiorentini, Colline Pisane, Colli Senesi, Montalbano and Rùfina.
For a wine to retain the name of Chianti, it must be produced with at least 80% Sangiovese grapes.
A Chianti may have a picture of a black rooster (known in Italian as a gallo nero) on the neck of the bottle, which indicates that the producer of the wine is a member of the Gallo Nero Consortium, an association of producers of the Chianti Classico sub-area sharing marketing costs.
Aged minimum 24 months (min 3 months in bottle) Chianti, may be labelled as Chianti Riserva (only if 12,5% alcohol min.) .
Chianti that meets more stringent requirements according to "Disciplinare" may be labelled as Chianti Superiore.
By the late twentieth century a group of ambitious producers began working outside the boundaries of DOC regulations to make what they believed would be a higher quality style of Chianti. These wines eventually became known as the "Super Tuscans".
(excerpts from Wikipedia)