A journey packed with flavours and aromas
Scenic curves and natural watercolours: this is the landscape of Chianti Classico, a land dotted with historic wineries. Visiting some of these is a unique experience, particularly at harvest time.
Here are our top suggestions:
One of the most ancient wineries in the Chianti Classico area. The starting point is Castello di Volpaia in Radda in Chianti, where they were already making wine in 1150. It’s a genuine village run as a huge scattered winemaking company. Wonderful cellars full of barrels are hidden under the church of San Lorenzo and the commandery. Tel. + 39 0577 738066.
The medieval heart of the Chianti region is Brolio Castle, which even today remains a symbol of tradition and the great winemaking history of Baron Ricasoli. The castle passed into the hands of the Ricasoli family in 1141, and it was here, in the late 19th century, that the Baron developed the “recipe” for Chianti Classico. Nowadays the family still heads the oldest winery in Italy. Tel. + 39 0577 730280.
Castello di Ama
Some wonderful terroir wines are produced here, but visitors also come to see the art collection, with site-specific works (by Michelangelo Pistoletto, Daniel Buren, Anish Kapoor, Louise Bourgeois, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Pascal Marthine Tayou, to name but a few) in the modern winery and the ancient cellars, the eighteenth-century villas and their chapels, and the gardens and vineyards surrounding the village. Tel. + 39 0577 746069.
Badia a Coltibuono
A landmark producer of Chianti Classico for the quality and longevity of its wines, its respect for the land and its focus on sustainability. The badia of the name is a medieval abbey, San Lorenzo, dating back to 1051 and home to an order of Benedictine monks from Vallombrosa, who were “revolutionaries” in medieval agriculture. Since 1846 the estate has been owned by the Giuntini/Stucchi Prinetti family. Tel. + 39 0577 74481.
The dynasty of the marquesses of Mazzei has ruled and produced wine in Castello di Fonterutoli since 1435. This futuristic winery was inaugurated in 2006: it is some 15 metres underground and, on the far wall, five enormous windows open onto the stalactite-covered rock, where a natural spring ensures a perfect temperature. Outside lie 650 hectares of pure nature, extending to the unmistakable silhouette of the Torre del Mangia in Siena. Tel. + 39 0577 73571.