The province of Siena is a treasure trove for prestigious DOCG wines: from Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti Classico and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano to San Gimignano's white Vernaccia. Best known to the bigger audience and closest to the town center of Siena lay the hills of Chianti Classico. A wine not to be confused with the simpler Chianti (which can be produced in a much wider area of Tuscany). The black rooster (Gallo Nero) logo of the Chianti Classico links back to a much cited medieval legend involving the towns of Siena and Florence and their conquest of the hills dividing the territory between them. 

The Chianti Classico vintner's association has overworked the design of the famous logo and will present it to the world on the 19th of February during the 2013 preview of the Chianti Classico collection (from the February 18-20 the Stazione Leopoldina in Florence). 

Chianti Classico logo and bottles at the preview 2012 in Florence
A great logo for a great wine: Chianti Classico Collection in Florence

It will be interesting to see the interpretation of the famous logo, that can be traced back to the coat of arms of the Chianti league, a Florentine medieval military alliance based in the towns of Radda, Giaole and Castellina in Chianti (all three are part of the province of Siena today). The alliance's symbol of the black rooster is best remembered in Vasari's fresco at Palazzo Vecchio and has from there moved on to travel the world on the neck of millions of Chianti Classico bottles. With such a legacy, it will be interesting to see whether the overhaul of the rooster logo just means a few tweaks here and there or whether the Chianti Classico vintner's association had the courage to go the whole 9 miles.

You insist on spending your weekend in Siena? Rightly so. The Chianti Classico Collection preview is on invitation only, so you'd have a hard time to smuggle your way in to meet your favorite wine producers. Nothing the like in Siena, where everyone can join the wine tasting organized by the Enoteca Italiana at Santa Maria della Scala museum. Siena's archaeological museum is located in the SMS museum complex, but is for the time being closed (partly so because of the severe financial crisis the city finds itself in due to the Monte dei Paschi nightmare). The temporary free access of the archaeological collection on a February weekend is therefore even more welcome. 

SANTA MARIA DELLA SCALA MUSEUM Saturday 16th of February, 2013
the cinerary of Montescudaio 
The archaeological section of the SMS will open on Saturday afternoon from 3 to 6 pm and entree will be for free.  Guided visits and the tasting organized the Consorzio di Montescudaio cost 3.50€ per person. So no Chianti Classico here, but plenty of Etruscan history to make up for the absence of the famous rooster (between you and me, the cinerary depicting an Etruscan family drinking wine, seems much more intriguing than the Gallo Nero legend). The guided visit and tasting are part of the initiatives linked to the 'Vino - Between Myth and History' exhibition (at the Medici fortress and in selected museums of the province of Siena).  

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