What comes to mind when Tuscany is mentioned? Perhaps the image of emerald hills, stretching endlessly like brushstrokes against a distant purple haze.
Maybe it's the allure of Medieval towns, with their red clay tiled roofs, inviting visitors to step back in time and immerse themselves in a bygone era.
Or it could be the captivating sight of sunflower fields, ablaze with yellow brilliance, creating a stunning contrast against the unique shades of the Tuscan turquoise sky. It's no surprise that these vibrant colors and breathtaking landscapes served as inspiration for the Renaissance masters, who emerged from this region nestled in the heart of Italy.
Now, imagine experiencing the beauty of this land firsthand. And as we set our sights on a particular gem within Tuscany, we find ourselves drawn to a place where tradition and terroir converge in perfect harmony: Chianti.
This renowned wine region encapsulates the spirit of the land, where superb wines are inseparable from the pleasures of a well-laden table, world-class masterpieces, and the elegance of pure Italian Dolce Vita.
© Darya Boronilo
Crafting Exceptional Chianti
Chianti is a legendary name that reverberates through the vineyards of central Tuscany, symbolizing a wine that has captured the hearts of enthusiasts worldwide. According to strict regulations, Chianti wine must be composed of 70-100% red Sangiovese grapes, which serve as its backbone and essence. Complementing this esteemed variety, local grapes such as Canaiolo, Colorino, and Malvasia Nera are permitted, infusing their unique character into the blend. Moreover, the boundaries of Chianti embrace the inclusion of international varieties, such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, which harmoniously coexist within the region.
In the pursuit of crafting exceptional Chianti, winemakers have the freedom to guide their evolution through the choice of aging vessels. Some opt for the traditional path, allowing the wine to mature gracefully within the depths of large oak barrels, known as botti. Others, reflecting contemporary trends, embrace a more nuanced approach by forgoing oak altogether. These modern techniques accentuate the pure nature of Chianti varieties, brilliantly reflecting the terroir they originate from.
Hidden Gems and Captivating Cellars
Nestled amidst the captivating landscapes, numerous wineries dot the countryside, each exuding its charm and presenting great Chianti blends. Here are our top suggestions for those seeking a vinous adventure close to the historic city of Siena:
Boschetto Campacci Winery
Located in the enchanting Chianti Classico DOCG hills, just 20 km from Siena, lies Boschetto Campacci. This picturesque property, perched on a plateau amidst the scenic Chianti Mountains, presents the opportunity to stay at the Villa and indulge in the wine-tasting pleasures. Surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, the Villa offers serenity and intimacy, providing an ideal place to relax, connect with nature, and immerse yourself in an indescribable atmosphere. In addition, delight in traditional Tuscan dishes, such as a game, Chianina beef, and handmade pasta, in the elegant and cozy restaurant of the Estate.
Nestled among the picturesque rolling hills of Chianti, Montechiaro Winery offers a truly immersive experience. With a commitment to organic winemaking, they skillfully produce wines that showcase the exquisite charm of Tuscan's primary grape varieties.
Immerse yourself in the beauty of the estate by staying at their charming villa, surrounded by olive groves and featuring a refreshing pool. As the cicadas serenade the afternoons, you can try the delectable homemade meals paired with their exquisite wines. For those seeking adventure, options like horse riding, truffle hunting, cooking classes, and even hot air balloon flights await.
Castello di Ama
Located in the heart of the Chianti Classico region, this historic estate boasts breathtaking views of vineyards and rolling hills. Known for its exceptional quality wines, Castello di Ama provides guided tours and tastings that allow visitors to delve into the rich winemaking heritage of the region. In addition to its outstanding wines, Castello di Ama goes beyond the realm of winemaking and embraces the world of art. The estate supports and collaborates with artists, showcasing various art projects. Visitors have the opportunity to explore and admire these artistic creations, adding an extra dimension to their winery visit experience.
Castello di Ama
A Kaleidoscope of Experiences for Wine Enthusiasts
From family-owned estates that have withstood the test of time to adventurous bike tours and cooking classes pushing the boundaries of wine tourism innovations, the region offers a kaleidoscope of experiences. Hop on a bicycle and pedal your way from one winery to another, pausing for wine tastings along the way.
You may even choose to extend your trip and continue cycling until you reach the majestic Monteriggioni castle, a medieval gem perched atop a hill. Alternatively, embark on a hike through the scenic landscapes of Tuscany, where you can immerse yourself not only in the pleasure of sampling local wines but also in the heavenly richness of freshly pressed olive oil's flavors and delicious Italian cuisine.
If you want to experience the Dolce Vita, jump into the stylish Italian Fiat, and cruise the countryside marveling at the renowned Tuscan cypress trees that frame your scenic route.
Keep an eye out, as you may catch a glimpse of graceful wild deer leaping through the hills during a majestic sunset. Journey past shimmering olive groves, golden wheat fields, and vast vineyards where the deep purple clusters of the grapes mature, destined for a new vintage. And as you savor a glass of Sangiovese-based blend on the terrace of your Tuscan villa, discover the timeless beauty of artistic masterpieces in Florence, or relax in the soothing embrace of local hot springs, you'll come to realize that in Chianti happiness can be found in myriad of ways.