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Drinking in the Chianti wine trail

  • Drinking in the Chianti wine trail

    The Chianti Classico wine trail explores some of the most legendary wine estates, an experience combining countryside, castles, cuisine – and wine. Not that we forget the charming individual estates that characterise the Chianti. In Tuscany, wine trails are always about far more than wine. Never think that just because you’ve visited a couple of estates that you’ve “done” wine-tasting. The estates, and their owners, are so diverse and each provides a new window on Tuscany.

    The Chianti covers an enormous region, spanning seven different wine “zones”. At its heart, in the hills between Florence and Siena, is Chianti Classico The main centres are Greve, Panzano, Castellina, Gaiole, Radda and Fonterutoli, whose estates are covered in our individual guides. Easily accessible off the picturesque route SS222, the grandest, castle-like estates have often been run by the same families since medieval times. This is the case with the aristocratic Antinori, Frescobaldi, Mazzei and Ricasoli dynasties, all wine estates we recommend in our individual guides. Their vaulted castles, frescoed villas, rolling vineyards and gastronomic restaurants encourage you to linger. The remaining Chianti wine zones include the Colli Fiorentini, Colli Senesi, Colline Pisane, Colli Aretini, Rufina and Montalbano. These are, rather confusingly, spread out over central Tuscany.

    The most compelling Chianti wine estates have tasting rooms and an enoteca (wine shop) where you can buy the wines. Most are geared up to international shipments. Bigger estates often have renowned restaurants and may even run cookery courses that can last as little as a morning. A few estates have created wine museums or international-style sculpture parks. For a memorable experience, book a tasting (degustazione) combined with a tour of the vineyards and cellars. Sip, savour and enjoy.

    Contact the Chianti Classico consortium for links to their producers but also see our recommended estates in our numerous Chianti guides, all accessed by destination through our Destinations listing.
    Address: Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico (Chianti Classico Wine Consortium)
    Tel: +39 055 82285
    Web: www.chianticlassico.com

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