The Lega del Chianti was founded over 700 years ago by the Republic of Florence. It was then a military organization dedicated to managing the area of Chianti and defending its Southern border from the attacks of the ennemy. The "black rooster against a golden background" was its emblem as far back as the Middle Ages, symbolizing the close relation to the land. Following the domination of Florence over the « Land of Chianti » in the subsequent centuries, the defensive activities receded and were replaced by administrative, civil and penal tasks.
Particular attention was given to legislation aimed at improving agriculture, in particular wine growing and making. As soon as 1444, it as decided that the grape harvest could not begin before Saint Michael’s day, 29 Septembrer, to be sure to obtain « this wine which sells well ».
In 1774, the Lega del Chianti was disbanded upon order of the Grand Duke of Tuscany Pietro Leopoldo to leave room for the new institutions, covering the whole Florentine territory. But some of the reasons at the origin of the Lega del Chianti became topical again in the XXth century : the relation with the land (« terroir »), the interest for history and the products of the Chianti area, the preservation of a good quality of life, all concerns present at its inception. The Lega del Chianti was thus re-founded in 1970. Its 700th anniversary was solemly celebrated in 1985.
The Lega del Chianti is therefore the oldest and one of the most important wine brotherhoods in Italy. It joined F.I.C.B. as soon as it was re-founded. Each year, it convenes a solemn Chapter, alternately in the cathedrals of Florence and Siena, symbolizing the reconciliation of the two long time rival cities.
This year, the Chapter was held in Siena on 28 October, presided over by the Capitano Generale, Baron Giovanni Ricasoldi-Firidolfi. The Mass was concelebrated at the cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta of Siena by Antonio Buoncristiani, Metropolite Archbishop of Siena, and S.E.R. Luciano Giovanetti, Bishop emeritus of Fiesole, both eclesiastical legates of the Lega. The magnificent induction ceremonial followed the mass and gave the opportunity to honor several recipients, among which F.I.C.B. (as an institution) as Legato ad honorem, represented by its president Alan Bryden. A colorful street procession led by the imperial drums of the city followed and enchanted a a large crowd.
See the page: Lega del Chianti
More about Chianti wines: www.chianti.com/
Baron Ricasoli-Firidolfi inducting F.I.C.B. as Legate ad honorem
Views of the induction ceremony in the Cathedral of Siena
After the ceremony, exit, group photo of the legates and procession in Siena:
Chapter banquet: celebrating Chianti wines!