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Eating & Drinking

  • Remember that this area is the birthplace of Chianti Classico. Look out for the symbol of the Black Rooster (also known as the Black Cockerel) which denotes Chianti Classico. The wine is made from Sangiovese grapes, or a Sangiovese blend, and aged for 14 months in French oak barrels followed by at least seven months in the bottle, or two years for a Riserva. Our recommended wine estates are featured in each of the individual Chianti guides.

    The local restaurants range from fine-dining to fuss-free inns and all specialise in versions of Tuscan cuisine. The most memorable spots are in castles and wine estates in Gaiole territory outside town. Pasta can be made with organic local flour and includes such stalwarts as pappardelle di lepre (pasta ribbons in hare sauce) or the same pasta with wild boar (cinghiale).

    This is just a taster to the Chianti. See our restaurant recommendations below and also see our other guides to top Chianti towns and villages, all accessed through our Destinations listings.

  • L’Osteria al Ponte

    Popular with locals, this is a fuss-free, family-friendly inn in Gaiole. You can dine in the garden on a summer’s evening. The good-value menu features traditional Tuscan staples, sometimes with a creative twist. Classic Chianti dishes include crostini neri, tagliatelle with truffles, wild boar stew, or pasta with porcini mushrooms. There’s also a pizza menu. The wine list showcases wines from lesser-known local vineyards, such as Rocca di Castagnoli and Castello di San Sano.

    Address: Via Antonio Casabianca 25
    Gaiole in Chianti

    Tel: 0577 744007

  • Il Ristorante Chianti

    This popular stop on the Chianti trail lies along scenic roads about 6 km north of Gaiole or 9 km east of Radda. The rural restaurant is set on the glorious wine and olive oil estate of Badia a Coltibuono, complete with its 11th-century abbey. Housed in the former stables, the inn makes use of a charming terrace in summer. Dine under a rose-trailing pergola and tuck into largely organic produce, including from the estate. Modern Tuscan dishes include cured meats, organic pasta with wild duck sauce, fennel soup, lamb or rabbit mains, and home-made fruit tarts or chestnut pastries. The impressive seasonal tasting menu is under €60, complete with a wine pairing of four wines. The estate wine, oil and chestnut honey are also on sale.

    Address: Badia a Coltibuono,
    Localita Badia a Coltibuono,
    Gaiole in Chianti

    Tel: 0577 749031

  • La Casa Porciatti

    This homely wine bar is tucked into an early 14th-century building in the heart of neighbouring Radda in Chianti . It also doubles as a good-value inn and wine shop. Along with a wide selection of Tuscan wines, you can tuck into taglieri, platters of home-cured meats or cheeses, along with porchetta (roast suckling pig). For something more substantial, choose stubby pici pasta with a meaty ragù sauce, ravioli with black truffle or hearty ribollita soup. Florentine tripe, wild boar stew and Sienese ossobuco are also on the menu.

    Address: Piazza IV Novembre
    Radda in Chianti

    Tel: 0577 738055

  • Il Ristoro

    Set on the lovely, rambling Castello di Ama wine estate deep in the Chianti hills south-west of Gaiole, this inn is all about showcasing the wine in an 18th-century villa. The short but seasonal menu is perfectly matched to the estate wines. Authentic, good-value dishes include pasta with wild boar sauce, chicken with black olives in wine sauce or a summery carrot and courgette soufflé with Pecorino sauce, and a hazelnut tart to finish. Pre-book a balcony table for sweeping views. To focus on the wine alone, choose the estate’s L’Enoteca.

    Address: Castello di Ama
    Localita Ama
    Gaiole in Chianti

    Tel: 0577 746191

  • L’Osteria del Castello

    Set south of Gaiole, this inn lies in Castello di Brolio, the ancestral castle estate of the Ricasoli wine dynasty. The inn itself is in the so-called bosco inglese (`English wood’) near the car park. The interior looks traditional yet contemporary, reflecting the message the estate would like to convey about both its wine and food. Dishes are elegant, creative twists on traditional Tuscan cuisine. Along with classic Florentine-influenced meat dishes, expect more fish than found in most of the Chianti. Such dishes as olive gnocchi in pecorino sauce or rabbit salad with crispy spelt can also be paired with Ricasoli wines. End with the homemade, crunchy cantuccini biscuits, ideally dipped in Vin Santo. Meals are mid-priced upwards, depending on the chosen wine. if you just want a wine-tasting, head to the contemporary cantina (cellars and tasting-room) which lies just outside the main gates of the estate.

    Address: Castello di Brolio,
    Localita Madonna a Brolio,
    Gaiole in Chianti

    Tel: 0577 730290

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