holds a rich history of viticulture. Its rolling hills and
Mediterranean climate provide the perfect spot for the production of
good quality wines and during the last decade it has become known as
the nation's most creative producer.
also holds world recognition for its red wines, the majority of which
come from the Sangiovese grape vines. These wines are generally spicy,
with good acid levels, smooth texture and medium body. The most
exclusive Sangiovese wine is Brunello di Montalcino, a high quality
selected wine from a fortress town south of Siena. It is one of Italy's
most expensive wines and is now issued under more than a hundred
different labels. This wine is produced solely from the Sangiovese
grapevine and takes at least 10 years to reach maturity.
Classico comes from the famous land of vineyards that lie between
Florence and Siena, with the towns of Greve, Radda and Castellina
forming a triangle in the very heart of the Chianti area. Most of these
wines belong to the Classico's marketing consortium and bear the 'Gallo
Nero' symbol that means 'black rooster'. This gives the guarantee of a
true bottle of Chianti Classico. Two kinds of Chianti Classico are
available, these are known as 'Standard' and 'Riserva'. Standard
Chainti Classico is labelled with a Gallo Nero surrounded by a red
border, whereas Riserva Chianti Classico is labelled with a Gallo Nero
surrounded by a gold border. This is produced from some of the finest
grapes and gives a minimum of 27 months aging to provide an additional
you want to personally experience the Grape harvest, the best way is to
join the grape pickers for a day. The harvest begins at sunrise! Hard
work is however generally rewarded by a generous lunch of prosciutto
ham, cheeses and of course, Tuscan wine. You can contact some of the
vineyards directly, just click on the vineyard name for contact
details. It is also possible if you see the grape harvest being taken
in to speak with a supervisor and ask if you can help the grape pickers
carry the baskets!
Casanuova di Ama:
a wine and oil-producing farm that lies between the medieval towns of
Radda and Gaiole with its entrance marked by a 14th century Roman-style
chapel. It's a small business run by an extremely friendly and
welcoming family who are proud of producing good quality organically
grown wine that ranges from the famous Chianti Classico Riserva to red
and white varieties of Vino da Tavola.
Click here for accommodation close to Casanova di Ama.
well known for its alliance between tradition and scientific technical
innovation. Although its viticulture dates back to the 11th Century,
its new facilities include modern techniques of wine-growing
management. Wine tasting and tours available
Click here for accommodation close to Dievole.
Castello di Brolio:
castle dates back to the 10th century and holds one of the main
vineyards that lie within the Chianti Classico area. In fact its
creator Baron Bettino Ricasoli produced the first formulation of the
grape mix of Chianti Classico in the second half of the 19th century.
Whilst there you can enjoy a guided tour of the castle, an introduction
to their finest wines with a visit to the 'tasting room', and the
traditional Tuscan food at its own restaurant.
Click here for accommodation close to Castello di Brolio.
Castello di Meleto
great castle in Tuscany, this 13th century hill-top building, close to
the village of Gaiole, is again owned again by the Ricasoli family.
Surrounded by its 180 acres of lands that cultivate the grapevine, its
main grapes include the Sangiovese, used mainly for the production of
Chianti Classico, together with Merlot, Cabernet, Syrah and other
traditional wines. Other than guided tours and wine tastings, you can
enjoy lunch or dinner at its own restaurant Fornace di Meleto.
Click here for accommodation close to the Castelo di Meleto.
Castello di Verrazzano
in its 12th Century castle and renaissance gardens is another family
run estate, once again close to Florence. Its 43 hectares of vinyards
is internationally recognised. Other than guided tours and wine
tastings you can also try the 'Cantinetta' a wine bar and bakery run by
the owners of Castello di Verrazzano which offers all wine produced
from the Castle together with white wines, locally produced extra
virgin olive oil, and freshly baked breads. High quality traditional
yet simple dishes are also available, together with pastries, rustic
biscuits, and traditional coffee blends.
Click here for accommodation close to the Castello di Verrazzano.
you really fancy treating yourself you can always try a luxury Tuscan
Wine Tour that's led by a local wine expert and tour guide who offers
guided wine tours throughout Tuscany. You can either go 'private' and
have a personal tour or join a group tour leaving Florence. You will be
escorted in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle by an expert guide
leading you to various vineyards and local villages where you can meet
and greet the locals and try different local specialities for lunch
and/or dinner. Tours are available in English, Italian and French,
click here for details.
is also an App available for iPhones and iPads which will guide you to
different vineyards and give you advice on the best wines: Click here for details (link will take you to the iTunes website)