Chianti wine trail from Florence to Siena
The Chiantigiana (SR 222) is one of the most scenic and charming motoring routes in Italy, running directly south from Florence to Sienna cutting through the heart of the Chianti Classico wine zone. The road sweeps around rolling Tuscan hills and past thousands of hectares of vineyards, all producing outstanding Chianti Classico DOCG (the highest classification of Chianti).
The Chianti area has been one of the most important wine producing regions in Italy for over two centuries. It was the family of the Grand Duke of Tuscany Lopold I that began cultivating grapes during the 18th and 19th centuries in the region that would become modern Chianti.
The best time of year to visit Tuscany (Toscana) is at harvest time in September, or just before harvest to see the vines bowing heavily with ripening Sangiovese grapes - the variety that is responsible for making Chianti Classico. During September most towns in Chianti celebrate the Sangiovese harvest with wine festivals such as the Vino al Vino held on the third week in September (17-19) in the small town of Panzano in Chianti, where many local wines can be sampled by the glass.
For a truly inspiring tour along Chiantigiana road, make time to visit some of the ancient towns of Chianti and surrounding vineyards. Most vineyards are open to the public, but it’s worth checking before you visit. The vineyards recommended below are open to visitors.