The Chianti Classico Consorzio has opened its first wine education centre aimed at tourists visiting the Italian region.
Chianti Classico House will offer tasting lessons, cooking shows and vineyard picnics, said the Consorzio after officially opening the centre at the newly-restored former Convent of Santa Maria al Prato in Radda (pictured).
The move comes less than three months after the trade body opened a wine bar in central Florence, showing it is making a greater effort to attract tourists. Around 80% of Chianti Classico is exported.
Chianti Classico House ‘will be offering technical wine tasting courses, events and art shows attracting wine-lovers and tourists from all over the world as well as local residents and wine connoisseurs’, said the Consorzio, which said the centre is the first of its kind to be wholly-owned by the Consorzio itself.
‘Its cellars hold the world’s largest collection of Chianti Classico labels,’ it added.
Among the initial exhibitions is ‘Chianti through Chinese eyes’, which shows photographs of the Tuscan wine region shot by Chinese professionals.
Global sales of Chianti Classico crept up by 0.5% in volume terms in 2013 versus 2012. The US accounted for 31% of exports, with the UK accounting for 10%. China and Hong Kong consituted 3% of exports.
Written by Chris Mercer