A Florence winery may not be found in the immediate centre of the great Renaissance city but there are plenty of wineries just a short hop away in the hills that overlook the city. To find a winery in Florence, simply head up to the Colli Fiorentini (Florentine hills), which is one of Chianti’s eight DOCGs.
Florence wineries tend to produce a lighter style of Chianti than the Chianti Classico heartland but these fruit-forward reds flow down in the city’s restaurants and bars, where they are often served as the house wine. The Colli Fiorentini are low lying hills with clay soils and the resulting wine is light-bodied, fruity and immensely quaffable. There may be more complex wines to be found slightly further afield, but wines from the Colli Fiorentini are truly Florentine and certainly taste real good in the city itself, and in the winery. Florence also has some other wine regions that can be considered firmly Florentine.
Best wineries near Florence, Italy
Excellent wineries near Florence include those in Carmignano, just 20km northwest of the city, and Rufina, around 30km to the city’s east. Both regions were recognised as being among Tuscany’s prime winemaking areas by Cosimo III, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, who on September 24, 1716, legally classified some of Tuscany’s Chianti’s key winemaking hotspots, including the land around the villages of Greve, Radda, Gaiole and Castellina, to effectively create Chianti Classico – Italy’s and quite possibly the world’s first official wine region. However, the vineyards of Chianti Classico, are more readily associated with Siena, Florence’s one-time rival city-state. The rivalry still goes on today, especially over wine!
Compact Carmignano, where Cabernet Sauvignon thrives, has been a DOCG since 1990, with some 120 hectares given that status. It occupies the eastern slopes of Monte Albano, close to the confluence of the Arno and Ombrone rivers, on which Cabernet Sauvignon ripens to impart a concentrated chocolaty note on the wine, and can provide up to 20% of the blend, as can Cabernet Franc. The vines are typically located on east-facing sites at lower altitudes than Chianti Classico but while the resulting wine is ripe and round with robust tannins, it usually retains sufficiently vibrant acidity thanks to the more northern latitude. Sangiovese only has to contribute a minimum of 50% in Carmignano, allowing for a more varied blend than Sangiovese-dominated Chianti Classico, for example. Canaiolo can account for an upper limit of 20%, while up to 10% can come from any of Canaiolo Bianco, Malvasia, and Trebbiano.
Rufina, a sub-zone of Chianti DOCG, with more of a continental climate and prized limestone and clay soils, is highly rated for its refined take on Sangiovese, which can be felt in the in focused and aromatic, yet full wines with zesty acidity and cool, lively aromas. Chianti Rufina, which is a hilly area with vineyards planted at up to 500 metres above sea level, is to many the best of the seven sub-zones outside of Chianti Classico itself. Rufina is sometimes 100% Sangiovese and the grape must make up at least three-quarters of the wine. The rest can be made up of the resurgent local Canaiolo and Colorino grape varieties, and/or Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Chianti Rufina wines are often favourably compared to those of Panzano, part of Greve in Chianti, and perhaps the finest Chianti Classico of all. Vineyards near Florence also include those of Chianti Classico.
Our team of local experts will guide you on a Florence winery tour, in which you will walk through the vineyards and where the grapes grow and find out about the factors that influence how the characteristics of those grapes form through their interaction with the terrific terroir. Our local experts will then lead you into the cellar to see how winemakers impart their influence on the final product and taste the wines.
If you're interested in one of our Florence Wine Tours, please visit this link.
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