Chianti is the area of Tuscany, between Florence, Siena and Arezzo: it is dotted with characteristic villages, each with its own architecture and landscapes that have remained uncontaminated over time, medieval buildings, churches, historical and artistic evidence to discover. To live Chianti means to immerse yourself in this atmosphere, suggestive and relaxing, to visit the many villages, to relax in the countryside, to dedicate yourself to the pleasures of the table and good wine.
Montefioralle, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, is situated on a hill overlooking the high valley of the river Greve and the ridge of the Chianti mountains. From the castle passes the road that connects the valley floor to the so-called “strada dei Poggi“, from where the view sweeps west to the Elsa Valley and the towers of San Gimignano, and north to the basin of Florence and the hill on which Fiesole stands.
Travelling along this road from Panzano to Montefioralle, in the landscape (perhaps) of the Mona Lisa, you can see glimpses of rare beauty, with vineyards halfway up the hillside, woods on the top of the hills and farmhouses scattered around the farms.
The village is enclosed in an elliptical wall circuit, largely preserved (the eastern watchtower has recently been restored), along a main road that follows the course of the walls. In the centre, in the highest part, there is the Church of Santo Stefano, which today appears inside in the form assumed between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, further modified by nineteenth-century renovations.
A short distance away, outside the walls, is the Pieve di San Cresci, dating back to the X century, recently restored.
Greve in Chianti reveals a commercial past because of the large porticoes overlooking the large Piazza Matteotti, with the statue dedicated to Giovanni da Verrazzano, mythical Tuscan explorer, native of Chianti. Nowadays, Greve can be traced back to the production of the Chianti Classico labeled with the Black Rooster and whose production area seems to be the most extensive D.O.C.G. in Italy.
Housed in the premises of the former Mirafiori Winery, recently renovated, the museum is a sort of journey through history, culture and tradition, aimed at enhancing the area.
It is divided into a museum itinerary, a section dedicated to the two navigators of Greve, Verrazzano and Vespucci, and another one dedicated to the sale of agricultural products.
Val di Greve is one of the most important production areas of Chianti and every year it hosts market exhibitions of this red wine among the most appreciated in the world.
It is possible to taste the excellent wine in one of the many wineries in the surrounding countryside: a real dive into Chianti.
In Radda in Chianti we are in the province of Siena: the centre, surrounded by 15th century walls, preserves the Palazzo del Podestà, Palazzo Minucci and other well-preserved medieval civil and religious buildings. The whole urban layout, with its streets with concentric centres, has hardly changed during the centuries, if not of a conservative nature. The ancient conical ice-house just outside the walls represents another interesting attraction of the town.
Here is The house of Chianti Classico located in the Convent of Santa Maria al Prato, the first headquarters of the Chianti Classico Wine Consortium, which houses the world’s largest collection of Chianti Classico labels.
Chianti is the highest expression of good food and typical Tuscan products. The hills here are rich in vineyards and olive groves, but not only oil and wine is made the Chianti cuisine. Cold cuts, cheeses, meats, bread, tomato soup and the best of Tuscan tradition can be found in all the inns and farmhouses where the products reach the table directly from the field.
The name “Chianti” is a guarantee of noble wine, produced according to strict laws that protect the quality standard and with it the sensorial characteristics.
All Chianti wines are made from the same grape varieties: Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Trebbiano, Malvasia bianca, Sauvignon and Merlot.
The percentage of grapes, instead, can change from wine to wine. The undisputed protagonist, however, is always Sangiovese, which can be vinified in purity or in variable quotas up to a minimum of 75%.
Chianti has a ruby red colour tending to garnet with ageing, a harmonious, dry and slightly tannic flavour, a vinous aroma with a hint of violet.
Chianti can be drunk young or aged: in the first case, it goes particularly well with grilled red meats, while the Riserva, more full-bodied and complex, is perfect with game and mature cheeses.