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Radda in Chianti day trip - for wandering, wine and a goat farm

  • Radda in Chianti day trip - for wandering, wine and a goat farm

    Neighbouring Radda in Chianti, 13 km north west of Castagnoli, makes for an entertaining outing, whether for couples or families.  In this charming market town, begin with a visit to the region’s foremost shrine to wine, the Casa Chianti Classico. After an interactive wine induction there, including a wine quiz at the Wine Museum, stay for a wine-tasting and rustic lunch in the centre. Then head to the Chianti Cashmere Goat Farm, just north-east of Radda, to meet (and pet) the region’s silkiest and best-loved cashmere goats. Learn how sustainable farming is producing the finest cashmere and be tempted to buy a keepsake. Then either return to Castagnoli or drive a few kilometres north to explore Volpaia, one of the Chianti’s moodiest villages, and stay for dinner there.

    Begin in Radda’s Casa Chianti Classico, housed in an 18th-century Franciscan monastery in the upper part of town. In its Wine Museum sign up to a 90-minute wine class or restrict yourself to learning all about Chianti before facing an entertaining multimedia wine quiz. Learn how Radda has been quietly prosperous since the 16th century when it was already exporting wine to England. Later, in 1716, Cosimo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany, officially delimited the production zone of Chianti wine. Along with Radda, the main centres in Chianti Classico remain Greve, Panzano, Castellina, Gaiole and Fonterutoli. The boundaries and strict rules still apply, even if the responsibility for enforcing them has passed to the Chianti Wine Consortium. Members include some of the same families that have been wine barons since medieval times, including the aristocratic Antinori, Frescobaldi, Mazzei and Ricasoli dynasties. After doing a wine-tasting and dutifully going through your tasting notes, you deserve lunch in the Enoteca. Even better, it features a charming terrace surveying the Chianti vineyards.

    If you’ve got young children in tow or are simply tired of wine estates, then visit the quirky Chianti Cashmere Goat Farm, just north-east of Radda. It’s fun but also represents sustainable farming at its best. At this stone farmhouse with a view, the kids can hold, pet and bottle-feed the kid goats. The goats are guarded by fluffy white Abruzzo shepherd dogs who act as guard dogs to keep any wolf pack at bay. The American-born owner knows all the shepherds, herders, growers and weavers and cares for her goats as if they were family. After getting your fill of cute goats and puppies, turn your attention to the cashmere itself. Cashmere is the fine, fluffy, downy undercoat produced by a cashmere goat and is apparently ten times lighter and warmer than wool. At the goat farm you can buy home textiles hand-made in Tuscany as well as hand-woven casmere scarves, shawls, throws, hats, socks and baby blankets. From here it’s home to Castagnoli or onto atmospheric Volpaia, just north of Radda, for a memorable stroll in the medieval hamlet and dinner there, with homely or fine-dining options covered in our Volpaia guide.

    Address: Museo del Vino (Wine Museum)
    Monastero Santa Maria al Prato
    Circonvallazione Santa Maria al Prato 18
    Radda in Chianti
    Tel: 0577 738187

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