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Castello di Brolio - the birthplace of modern Chianti Classico

  • Castello di Brolio - the birthplace of modern Chianti Classico

    South of Gaiole in Chianti stands Castello di Brolio, the birthplace of the modern Chianti industry. It was in this castle in 1872 that Barone Bettino Ricasoli established the formula for making Chianti wines that has been used ever since. It requires a precise blend of white and red grape juice and the addition of dried grapes to the vat to give the wine its softness and fruit-filled flavour.

    Brolio has long been controlled by the Ricasoli, Chianti landowners since the eighth century. The castle itself dates from the 11th century and is one of the oldest in Italy, even if its Gothic Revival style was introduced by Barone Bettino Ricasoli. From the year 1200 onwards, the Ricasoli dynasty fought on the Florentine side against Siena, their greatest rivals. As a Florentine outpost, Castello di Brolio’s past spans Guelf-Ghibelline conflicts, sacking by the Sienese in 1529 and German occupation and Allied bomb¬ing during World War II. The medieval walls are the castle’s most strik¬ing feature, along with the 14th-century chapel, set in lush grounds. Drink in the views of vineyards and the valleys from the castle ramparts.

    At Brolio, you are tasting history in all senses. Baron Bettino Ricasoli, Italian premier in 1861, relaunched the family wine business, a business continued by the present family. Baron Ricasoli’s skill was to capitalise on improvements in production and spearhead the modernisation of wine-making, with the establishment of the Chianti Classico brand. Since then, a consortium, the Consorzio Chianti Classico, controls production, with the gallo nero (black cockerel) emblem guaranteeing quality. Book a visit to the castle cellars, tour the estate, taste the wines, and see the family museum. The sunset tour is the most private and includes dinner in the Ricasoli’s restaurant, L’Osteria del Castello.  Your castle ticket also allows for a free wine-tasting in the Ricasoli tasting rooms below the castle. While there, try Barone Ricasoli Castello di Brolio Chianti Classico 2006.

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

    Tel: +39 0577 7301

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