Why is the Gallo Nero (Black Rooster)
the emblem of Chianti Classico wines?

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Visit Greve in Chianti for a place to stay in the Gallo Nero Chianti Classico wine zone.

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Chianti Classico is not just a wine zone!

The black cockerill or rooster (Gallo Nero) has for long been the emblem of the entire Chianti region and more recently of Chianti Classico wines. Exactly why this should be so is unknown, but there are several stories claiming to account for it. One such story relates to the long-lived rivalry existing in the Middle Ages between Sienna and Florence. In order to bring an end to their ceaseless battles, these cities decided to settle the location of the boundary between them by means of a competition between two knights. The knights were to set out on horseback their respective hometowns at cockcrow and the point at which they met would be the frontier between the two republics. For this purpose, the citizens of Sienna raised a beautiful white rooster, which grew sleek and fat. The Florentines, instead, chose a black rooster and never fed him, so that on the day of the race, the black rooster was so famished that he started to crow even before sunrise. As a result, the Florentine knight was able to set out much sooner than the Siennese knight whom he met at Fonterutoli, near Castellina, merely 12 kms from Sienna, hence almost all of the Chianti territory was united under the rule of the Florentine Republic. The Black Rooster profile was the emblem of the historic Chianti League, which ruled over these lands from the beginning of the 14 C and Giorgio Vasari painted the Black Rooster on the ceiling of the Salone dei Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio as an allegorical representation of the Chianti region.

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