Splash of Wine: Castello di Querceto Chianti Classico is a delicious sip of history

Here's one to celebrate Italian Day while social distancing

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      Where we taste various wines and share highly subjective and uncorroborated tasting notes.

      Castello di Querceto Chianti Classico DOCG 2016

      In honour of Italian Day (happening in spirit if not on the Drive for 2020), we wanted to celebrate with a great but reasonably priced wine. This one fits the bill and comes with a cool backstory.

      The Querceto castle itself goes back to 123 A.D., when Emperor Hadrian built a fortress to defend the area around it, presently the northeastern part of the Chianti Classico region. War destroyed it in the late 1400s, with the building of the existing structure taking place in the 16th century. Since 1897, it’s been in the hands of the Francois family, founding members of the Chianti Classico Wine Consortium. The 200-hectare estate now comprises 60 hectares of vineyards and six hectares of olive groves, surrounded by chestnut groves, oak trees, and endless rolling hills. Note to self: book a flat in the winery’s Giuncaie farmhouse once tourism opens up.

      Tech Sheet: Aged for six months in oak barrels, the ruby-red wine is made of 92 percent Sangiovese and 8 percent Canaiolo, Colorino, Mammolo, and Ciliegiolo grapes.

      Sip it: Earthy with a bit of cherry, it’s a can’t-go-wrong classic that will please the people in your bubble.

      Next level: Hit Santa Barbara Market, Cioffi’s Meat Market and Deli, La Grotta del Formaggio, or your favourite Italian grocer for a DIY antipasti platter—provolone-stuffed eggplant, smoked Castelvetrano olives, balsamic onions, prosciutto, Calabrese salami, marinated artichoke hearts, and the like—while you dream of the Nimphea suite at Querceto, sipping on the shaded terrace overlooking the vineyard.

      Swirl this: Find it at JAK’s Beer Wine Spirits (various locations) for $37.99.