The Chianti wine trail is perhaps the most iconic of the classic wine routes of Italy, and offers a compelling combination of stunning scenery, delectable local dishes and, of course, lots of fine wine. The Chianti wine road connects the two beautiful Tuscan cities of Florence and Siena, but it is what lies in between these two former city states that is a paradise for wine lovers.
To save the inconvenience of driving, our team of local experts will transport to you to the inner core of Chianti, heading out with you on the highway from Florence directly south, looking for Chianti adventure down Superstrada 222, also known as the ‘Strada del Chianti’ or ‘Via Chiantigiana’. Our local experts will take you into the centrepiece of the region to the Chianti Classico DOCG zone, which produces the crème de la crème of Chianti and whose wine is instantly recognisable with the black rooster (Gallo Nero in Italian) on the seal of the bottles.
Our team will take you to very vineyards that Cosimo III de’ Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, legally classified on September 24, 1716, when he singled out the best places for making wine, thus delimiting the land around the village of Radda, Gaiole, Castellina and Greve. In doing so he effectively founded Chianti Classico, the oldest official wine region in Italy, if not the world. You will get to see the vineyards with your own eyes, and walk up and down the slopes to check out the progress of the grapes or how the vines are trained. The best vineyards in Chianti Classico DOCG and many other parts of Chianti DOCG have good southern or eastern exposure and typically lie between 200 and 400 metres above sea level and come from a cocktail of galestro (a type of marl) and alberese (sandstone) soils. You can let these soils run through your own hands, and get a strong sense of the factors that make this terroir so special.
After checking out where the Chianti grapes grow, our local experts will take you into the wineries to meet the winemakers to get the lowdown on how the wines are made. You will probably already know that Sangiovese must account for at least 70% of Chianti DOCG and 80% of Chianti Classico DOCG wine, but the way that the winemakers play with the remaining percentage can have a considerable impact on the taste of the wine. The rest can come from international grapes, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Franc, which bring weight, black fruit in the case of the Cabernets and Syrah, and more body. The local grapes, Canaiolo and Colorino, soften the blend and bring local colour and spice, and are experiencing a revival. The white wine grapes of Trebbiano and Malvasia Toscano also continue to be used by some of the old guard to freshen up the final blend. You will also see how progressive Chianti winemakers have eschewed the ageing of their wine in the large Slavonian oak botti, in favour of the finesse that French oak provides in delivering a fine finishing touch to the blend.
After checking out the cellars, our experts will lead tutored tastings whereby you will taste the wines from the sites explored. This all makes for a magical and comprehensive Chianti wine trail.
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