Chianti Wine Route
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All photos courtesy of Mr & Mrs Smith/ Castello del Nero

Summer through to September is high season and you’ll surely be paying the sky-high prices if you’re planning on visiting during this time. The festivities kick off with the Chianti Classico Wine Festival in mid-September and culminates with the fall harvest in late September through to early October. In late October and November, the hotels aren’t nearly as full and you can witness the annual olive oil harvest and pressing.

Flanked by Florence and Siena, Chianti was first mapped out in 1716. The area’s borders were redrawn in 1932 and a sub-section was designated the Chianti Classico region – today, only bottles produced within this region can bear the prestigious gallo nero (black rooster) seal. The best way of getting around is to hire a car and tour the surrounding towns and vineyards. The most well-known towns are the charming Greve, Radda, Gaiole and Castellina in Chianti, and are all worth a visit, as is the Medieval hilltop town of San Gimignano.

The largest town is Greve, where there’s a charming open-air Saturday market held weekly at the Piazza Matteotti. While you’re there, learn about the art of winemaking at the Museo del Vino, or head further afield to the recently built Antinori Nel Chianti Classico, which is an interesting modern wine centre.


Chianina beef ranks among the most celebrated in the world and when in the Tuscan heartland, it’s a must. The best way to savour the meat is with a juicy Florentine T-bone steak from one of butcher Dario Cecchini’s steakhouses, including Antica Macelleria Cecchini. For simple, rustic cuisine in Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, there’s the Osteria Gramola, which serves Florentine favourites based on seasonality, as well as a hard-to-come-by gluten-free menu.

Part of the Mr and Mrs Smith collection of unique hotels, Castello Del Nero’s estate and spa span across 400 hectares of fertile wine lands and olive groves in the charming town of Tavarnelle Val di Pesa. Once a 12th century château, the luxurious five-star hotel and spa is perched above a hilltop, from which you can admire the stunning Tuscan sunset with a glass of wine in hand. You can spend the day taking walks on its vast property, tasting the olive oil and wines grown onsite, dining in the one-Michelin-starred La Torre Restaurant and getting pampered at the plush ESPA. For a city break, the hotel also provides daily shuttle service that drops you off in either Florence or Siena on alternating days and picks you up in the evening so you can get the best of both worlds.


The post Chianti Wine Route appeared first on Home Journal.

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