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Visit Volpaia, a quaint hilltop village

  • Visit Volpaia, a quaint hilltop village

    Volpaia, an enchanting medieval hamlet north-west of Gaiole, is reached along a scenic winding road. Framed by walls and towers, this fortified hamlet has retained its medieval layout and defensive character. Book an unusual wine-tasting and cellar tour in the Castello di Volpaia estate in the heart of the hamlet. The cellars start from a sacristy and end up in yet more cellars hidden below churches. In Volpaia, once sacred spaces are now given over to wine-making. It’s a mysterious process. The wine is moved by means of a maze of interconnected stainless steel pipes. Even to reach the tasting room involves traipsing along narrow corridors and ancient staircases. The crypt of the Renaissance-era Commenda di Sant’Eufrosino church is now used to store barrels of the estate’s ageing wine.

    Book a visit to the olive press and wine cellars, with a tasting of Volpaia’s exciting organic wines, along with an olive oil tasting and a sampling of local produce. Castello di Volpaia honey, speciality vinegars and Extra Virgin Olive Oil make tempting gifts. Bear in mind that cellar visits are usually conducted at 11.30am, 3pm and 5pm but it’s best to check with the estate directly.

    For lunch or dinner, head to Piazza della Torre, the main square in Volpaia. Book ahead for a table on the terrace at La Bottega, which serves special but unfussy Tuscan dishes. After a salad picked from the kitchen gardens you could opt for the wild boar stew or Florentine T-bone steak.  Or, for fine dining, book at the gastro inn of L’Osteria Volpaia, noted for its creative cuisine and organic wines. In more casual mode, relax over a light lunch in Bar Ucci, which is a cross between a wine bar and a homely inn. Set in former stables, this welcoming spot serves platters of cured meat and cheeses or pasta with wild boar. For a snack, sample the fruit tarts or cakes made by the resident granny pastry chef. For more on this fascinating fortified village, including dining options, see our Volpaia guide.

    Address: Castello di Volpaia
    Piazza della Cisterna
    Radda in Chianti

    Tel: 0577 738066

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