Chianti means red wine, but not just that. It also means a charming countryside full of vineyards and red roofs shining under the Tuscan sun. No wonder the English were so enchanted by the region that they called it Chiantishire.
If you’re a wine lover, make sure to visit Castello di Nipozano that has been, for generations, the home of Frescobaldis, famous winemakers. They produce Rùfina, a very luxurious wine.
However, if you want to enjoy wine, you don’t have to buy the most expensive brand. Local trattorias offer very good wines at good prices.
All Chianti wines are made of Sangiovese and Chianti Classico grapes. Since 2005, all Chianti Classico wines have a black rooster on their label, the symbol of Chianti producers since the 17th century, and today, the synonym for quality wine.
If you drive from Florence to Siena on the Chiantigiana road, you can admire the most beautiful places of the region – picturesque villages and fairy-tale hills.
The charming village of Greve Chianti holds the annual wine festival that takes place on the second Sunday of September. Don’t forget to plan your visit accordingly so that you don’t miss this spectacular event. You can buy wine absolutely everywhere, but the best place to enjoy it is Piazza Matteotti. Have glass of red wine, a piece of the crostini bread, and just watch the people walk buy.
The best way to explore Chianti is on foot, especially if you walk along the famous ecological path, or ecopassaggio, that leads you from San Gusmè over the hills and vineyards to Castelnuovo Berardegna. Also, the region is full of charming farms rebuilt into cozy hotels.
Chianti is one of the best places for gourmets thanks to its fresh, high-quality ingredients. Venison and rabbit meat is especially popular. Don’t forget to try bean soup and other simple traditional dishes, like arista – roasted pork stuffed with rosemary and garlic. Cheese plays an important role in the gastronomy of Chianti. Pasta filled with ricotta is a heavenly dish. And remember to buy a piece of pecorino, a delicious goat cheese. Chianti also produces the most famous cheese of Tuscany, the oval marzolino that’s best eaten completely fresh or slightly ripened. If you have a sweet tooth, make sure to try cantuccini, crispy almond biscuits. Just take one, dip it into vinsanto, sweet dessert wine, and let it melt in your mouth. It’s divine.