Tuscany Wine Guide: The Chianti Classico

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There are many reasons why visitors fall in love with Tuscany. The timeless beauty of its undulating countryside, or the cucina Toscana (Tuscan gastronomy): how can one make a plate of pasta taste so good?

Perhaps it’s the feeling of stepping back in time as you stroll along across the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) of Florence; or wander at the beauty of Leonardo da Vinci’s, Adoration of the Magi San Donato in Scopeto, on display at the Uffizi Gallery.

In our opinion one of the most delicious ways to fall in love with Tuscany is through the region’s wine: Chianti classico, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, and Bolgheri: each with their own history, and all have us under their spell.

If you are staying at Dimora Bellosguardo in Florence it’s a must to visit the wineries and vineyards. Over the next four articles we’re spotlighting some of the best wineries within each of the Tuscan wine denomination; starting with a superstar of Italian wines, the Chianti Classico.

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Chianti Classico Wine Region

The Chianti Classico region stretches between Florence and Siena, an area that has been ravaged by wars across centuries, and yet is now one of the most stunning and tranquil areas of Tuscany.

Divided into seven wine producing sub-areas; the heritage of the Chianti Classico reaches back over 300 years, although the region has been a recognised wine producing region since the 13th century. The Chianti Classico is denoted by its special Black Rooster seal. Only wines with this seal can be called Chianti Classico, let’s take a look at some of the best.

Video credit: The Telegraph

Reserva 2015 Antico Borgo di Sugame

This award winning vineyard started 18 years ago, when the owner of Dimora Bellosguardo and her brother in law and his wife Lorenzo and Catriona Miceli purchased a neglected and run down Borgo (village dating back to 1200) and Vineyard in the heart of the Chianti Classico region (just outside Greve).

Antico Borgo di Sugame BOTTIGLIA Riserva_Villa italyWith a lot of hard work, determination and passion they turned it into a popular holiday destination and award winning vineyard.

Lorenzo and Catriona are devoted to producing the finest wines possible while following traditional Chianti Classico viticulture practices. The wines at Sugame are 100% Sangiovese, and all are certified organic; containing no additives. Once they arrive to the cellar, there is no intervention or manipulation of any kind.

Their attention to detail has won numerous awards. Reserva 2015 Antico Borgo di Sugame has also featured favourably in many of the world’s leading wine magazines, such as a Four Star rating in Decanter Magazine.

Visit the vineyard:  A visit to the Sugame winery is pure joy. The vineyard sits on a hilltop overlooking the Greve valley, with breathtaking views to the countryside. During your visit you can purchase wine, honey and olives that are produced by the Miceli family.

Castello di Brolio

The Brolio Castle winery is a classic in the Chianti Classico region. It’s said that the original blueprint for Chianti wine was created here by Baron Bettino Ricasoli in 1872. The Castello di Brolio is one of the best examples of pure Sangiovese grape. Its aromatic and elaborate aroma paves the way for a palate of chocolate and spices, and a smoky aftertaste.

The Ricasoli family has roots tying them to the castle since the 12th century and the bloody battles between Siena and Florence. The castle is an iconic symbol of the Chianti region and aside from being synonymous for Tuscan wine, it was also the main location for filming of Stealing Beauty. The 1996 film starring Liv Tyler, Rachel Wiesz and Jeremy Irons.

Visit the vineyard: A trip to the Ricasoli estate is a trip into the history of Tuscany. The estate offers wine tours and taste. You can eat in their Osteria and purchase wine from the enoteca.

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Castell’in Villa

Low yielding vineyards producing very high quality Chianti Classico and Chianti Classico Riserva wines. This is the purpose of the Castell’in Villa winery, situated in Castelnuovo in the region of Siena. They also produce a Santacroce and Poggio delle Rose, as well as a Vin Santo (a sweet dessert wine) and grappa.

The Castell’in Villa Chianti Classico is produced with 100% Sangiovese grapes, and perfectly captures their aroma and palate: earthy and spicy, you can almost taste the rich soil in which they have been produced.

The Chianti Riserva is the result of grapes produced from the very best vineyards of Castell’in Villa. The best vintages peak at ages between 6-15 years. The elegance fragrance leads to a palate of black cherries and spicy earthy tones.

Visit the vineyard: The Castell’in Villa estate has an enoteca in which you can taste and purchase the wines, as well as a restaurant where you can pair their great wines with a traditional Tuscan and Mediterranean menu.

Tignanello

An iconic Tuscan wine, the first to be aged in Barriques (barrels created in Bordeaux). Produced with a combination of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The wine is only bottled in favourable vintages, and has a very delicate production. The result is a deep ruby colour with purple hues; an aroma of plums and cherries, with an underlying finish of liquorice and mint. The palate is rich and balanced, a perfect harmony of flavours.

Visit the vineyard: The Antinori family have several wineries in Tuscany and offer themed tours and tastings, which you can book on their website.

Montesodi Chianti Rufina

frescobaldi-chianti classico_Villa ItalyProduced in the heart of the Chianti Classico region at the Frescobaldi estate, Montesodi is an award-winning Cru wine produced with Sangiovese grapes. The 2015 vintage has beautiful bouquet of citrus, cherry blossom and violets. The palate is silky smooth with flavours of sour cherries, blood orange and candied citroen, and undertones of coffee and white stone fruits.

Visit the vineyard: The Frescobaldi estate invites you to spend a day or a weekend visiting the estate, eating at their Florence restaurant, visiting the vineyards and castle, and tasting the wines.

Other Chianti Classico vineyards include the boutique winery of Isole y Olena, the notable Castello Monsanto produced by the Bianchi family; Fontodi with its centuries of tradition and the organic and biodynamic wines of Querciabella.

Dimora Bellosguardo is the perfect private villa in Florence to enjoy a holiday and discover the fine wines of Tuscany.

In the next article we we’ll share tasting notes on the wines of the Brunello di Montalcino region.

Other articles in the Tuscany Wine Guide Series

Brunello di Montalcino

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