Chianti: A holiday house on a vineyard
Chianti is situated in the heart of Tuscany, between Florence and Siena. Smooth curved hills, lush green forests, medieval towns and idyllic vineyards shape the region. As one can presume from the name Chianti is the name giver for the well-known Italian wine.
Already during the time of the Etruscans and old Romans wine-growing was cultivated in this region. Next to a long tradition as a cultivation region Chianti can also look back on a great cultural history. Countless castles, palazzi, churches and monasteries are still testimony of the region’s long and eventful history which was particularly during the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period a constant bone of contention between the eternal rivals Florence and Siena.
In the region of Chianti Classico
Many of the red wines produced from the Sangiovese grape are in the meantime allowed to carry the name Chianti. The growing area of the possibly most well known Italian wine accounts for around a third of entire Tuscany and extends from Pisa to Lake Bolsena. The ‘real’ Chianti though you only get in the ‘real’ Chianti which is the hilly stretch of land south of Florence and framed by Val di Pesa and Val d'Elsa in the west and Val d'Arno in the east. Only wines originating from this region are allowed to exhibit the coveted DOC-Label Chianti Classico and the Gallo Nero, the famous black cock, as badge on the bottles.
Apropos bottles: Traditionally Chianti is sold in so called Fiasco, a bulbous bottle with sheathing of straw. The reason for this sheathing is that one wanted to protect the thin glass bottles from any transport damage. In the meantime more common wine bottles have been able to establish themselves in Chianti so that you have the option of bringing your loved ones a bulbous Fiasco or a handier Bordeaux bottle back as a gift.
Late summer and autumn are incidentally in Chianti the period of the grape harvest. A number of smaller and larger wine festivals take place where the current vintage is presented and there is the opportunity to try the odd drop. Immerge into the colourful festivities and experience up close the genuine Italian attitude towards life.
Trips on the Via Chiantignana
A good route in order to discover as much as possible of Chianti is the ‘Via Chiantignana’ the wine route of the region (SS 222) that runs from Florence in the north to Siena in the south. Here one can find towns situated in vineyards, castles in picturesque settings on hills and enticing olive as well as cypress groves. And of course many larger and smaller vineyards await to be explored on a trip. Often visits are possible and direct sales (‘vendita diretta’) with wine tastings are offered. Only with a holiday home on a vineyard will you get closer to the on goings (more on this in the next part).
Worthwhile destinations along the Via Chiantignana are the both small towns of Greve and Radda. In Greve on the Piazza Matteoti the biggest wine festival takes place in mid September. But also outside the grape harvest the medieval town is worth visiting with its arcades, winding alleys and small shops. Furthermore you should plan a detour over the narrow and steep street in direction of the small village Montefioralle. The former castle dating back to the 11th century is in a picturesque setting on a hill and offers a fantastic panoramic view across the Chianti landscape.
Around Radda one is able to find Chianti’s most famous and high-quality vineyard locations. Some of the vineyards can look back on more than 1,000 years of history and subsequently are a real symbol for the cultural importance that wine-growing has in Chianti. On the slopes of the valleys around Radda particularly excellent wines thrive that you can taste and purchase directly from the producer or opt from a greater selection in the Enotecen, the wine shops, which are spread out around the town’s piazza.
Holiday home vacation on a vineyard
Of course a very particular way of spending your vacation in Chianti would be on a vineyard. Observe the wine production process or stock up at the shop on site with ideal gifts for back home. Many owners offer during the course of a stay special meals and further interesting information on wine production. More than 70 holiday apartments and houses offered on atraveo in Chianti are situated on vineyards or are in close proximity.
Beyond this you will find many other country estates in our offer, so called rusticos, where not only wine but also olives and other vegetables are grown. The range is great and includes small holiday apartments in former country houses where couples or small families will feel comfortable as well as complete estates that offer enough room for larger groups or families travelling together. Moreover, most rusticos are comprehensively furnished and often provide an own pool.