Chianti: a unique territory with many wineries to discover
Chianti is the symbol of the Tuscan countryside, located south of the Apennines in the central part of the region. It is a unique environment, crossed by gently rolling terraced hills, by valleys and rivers; the silver of the olive trees, the extraordinary geometry of the vineyards and the tree-lined roads combine in a palette of colors that seem to create a unique painting. From the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, it was a continuous battle field for the fights between Siena and Florence that wanted control over these lands. Castles and fortresses that lie on top of many hills overlooking the countryside bear testimony to this glorious and tormented past.
The name “Chianti” not only indicates a territory, but also is synonymous with its prestigious wine. The production area of Chianti DOCG wine falls in the central part of Tuscany and partially affects the hilly territories, close to the Apennines, the provinces of Arezzo, Florence, Pistoia, Pisa, Prato and Siena.
The must visit wineries in Chianti | The Gotto Wine Tour selection
Castello Poggiarello is a beautiful twelve-hectare organic farm located in the municipality of Sovicille in the province of Siena. The first traces of Poggiarello seem to date back to the second half of the thirteenth century; born as a fortress erected to defend the surrounding land, over the years it has been adapted to a stately home and enriched in its architectural structure. The agricultural activity continued until the period between the two world wars and then resumed with the current owners. In fact, they were able to adapt the ancient cellars and the mill to modern winemaking and milling technologies. Particularly the wine activity has been revived starting from 2003; the new vines were planted following a careful pedoclimatic analysis to select the most compatible varieties with the terroir.
Villa la Ripa is a beautiful property located in Antria, Arezzo. The first traces of this magnificent place date back to the 2nd century A.D. with Marco Peconio. However, the current appearance of the villa is ascribed to the Gualtieri family, an important lineage of poets, cardinals and winemakers who bought it in the Renaissance. After several changes of ownership, the farmhouse was bought by the Luzzi family. The well-known neurologist Saverio, together with his family, has brought the property back to its former glory, through an accurate and meticulous renovation and he decided to continue the wine production focusing on the high quality of the product. As a doctor, his goal is to reconcile historical tradition and innovation through a scientific approach to wine making. Villa La Ripa vineyards are part of the Chianti Colli Aretini sub-zone.
Gently located on the hills near Florence, surrounded by an inimitable landscape, the Grignano Estate with its Villa, its historic winery, the ancient jars and the many farmhouses among the vineyards and the olive trees, offers a special sensory tour, which really must be discovered. The Grignano Villa was founded in the 15th century and it covers nowadays more than 600 hectares; there are 47 farms, each one characterized by its own history and architectural style. Dedicated to the production of Chianti Rufina, Grignano represents tradition and culture, linked to the territory and blended with the most advanced technology. In the vineyards, the most planted variety is Sangiovese, native grapevine of the area. There are also international varieties such as Merlot, Chardonnay, Malvasia of the Chianti and Petit Verdot.
The ancient land of Fiano, known originally as Alfiano because it belonged to the aristocratic florentine family of the Alfani, is located on the top of the hill that separates Val d’Elsa and Val di Pesa, in the heart of Chianti Colli Fiorentini area. The farm, owned by the Bing family since 1940, stands on an Etruscan site that dates to 400 B.C. Ugo Bing, an agronomist and great connoisseur of viticulture and oenology, has been managing the winery for over 30 years. The philosophy is to be as faithful as possible to the terroir, in a close relationship between man and earth. Inspired by an authentic passion, Ugo leads the farm combining tradition and research. Ugo and his son Francesco have an ambitious goal: give to those who choose Bing wines the feeling of walking among Fiano’s lands.
Travignoli is a beautiful estate located just 25km east of Florence, in the Chianti Rufina area. The first mention of Travignoli in documents dates back to the year 1100, in a parchment of the nearby Vallombrosa Monastery. After several changes of ownership, in 1800 the Busi family acquired the estate. It is important to remind that in 1927 Clemente Busi became one of the founders of the Chianti Putto Consortium. Travignoli winery, now run by Giovanni Busi, received the “Italia 150” award conferred by the Unioncamere Nazionale. This award recognizes Travignoli’s success and longevity as one of the 150 most antique enterprises in Italy. The estate extends over 90 hectares of land, 70 of which are vineyards. The main variety is naturally Sangiovese, but there are also Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay.
Capezzana is a beautiful estate located in Northern Tuscany, in the town of Carmignano, just 20 km north of Florence. The property extends over 650 hectares, 90 of which are covered in vineyards and 150 in olive groves. The Capezzana estate belongs to the Contini Bonacossi family. In the 1920s, Alessandro bought the property Capezzana, then expanded with the purchase of the two neighbouring farms. Thus, the Capezzana estate was born: divided into 3 estates and more than 120 “poderi” (land plots), dedicated to the production of high quality wine and olive oil. In 1945 Alessandro was joined by his son Ugo who gradually steered the direction of the estate away from sharecropping towards a more modern style company. Today Capezzana winery follows organic agricultural methods since 2015.
Il Borro is a magnificent estate located in Loro Ciuffenna in the heart of the Valdarno. The first written record of the Castle dates back to 1254, when Marquis Borro Borri, a Milanese nobleman, purchased the property from the Mascagni family. The estate’s event-filled noble history began with him and would go on to include some of Europe’s noblest families, including the Savoy dynasty. In 1993 Ferruccio Ferragamo bought the entire property. As soon as he had purchased the property, Ferruccio, aided by his son Salvatore, began extensive restoration and refurbishment of this ancient place. Since 2012, Il Borro has become part of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux association and is today one of the most luxurious 5-star hotels in Tuscany. Today Il Borro is also a prestigious winery that extends over 700 hectares, 45 of which are vineyards.
Selvapiana is an old Tuscan farm located in the heart of Chianti Rufina. The first traces of this place date back to the Middle Ages; Selvapiana was originally one of the watch towers along the Sieve river, built with the purpose to protect the city of Florence on the North-East border. After several changes of ownership, in 1826 the property was bought by the Giuntini family. It is important to remind that Francesco Giuntini was among the first Tuscan producer to make the Riserva wine only from Sangiovese grapes and to produce the flagship wine of Selvapiana from a single vineyard. Today the property is managed by Silvia and Federico, sons of the estate manager Franco Masseti, who worked with Francesco from 1953 to 1990. Today Selvapiana is an organic farm that extends over a surface of 250 hectares, 58 of which are vineyards.