A 45-minute drive from Florence takes you to the very center of Chianti’s wine country. Over the years, Tuscany’s wine country keeps calling me back. Touring there has become one of my favorite things to do in all of Italy. The people are friendly, the wines are delicious, and the twisting roads and rolling hills are strangely quiet for such a legendary place. The countryside has a mysterious mood. The people in Chianti are dedicated to its soil. They are dedicated to translating the land and sun into wine. This wine is shipped all over the world so that others—people who have never visited Chianti—can taste it. Why not go for a visit?
Here is my guide to planning a trip from Florence to Chianti’s wine country.
Most of Florence’s rental car agencies are located on the street, Borgo Ognissanti, located in the southwestern portion of the city on the north side of the Arno River. Rows and rows of car rental agencies stretch along the street, but it’s important to make your reservation online in advance for the best price. Expect to pay 35-50 euro a day.
Before picking up your car, make sure to map out your route to Chianti. The rental agencies rarely offer road maps. The best way to get to Chianti from Borgo Ognissanti is by driving south using the bridges of either Ponte alla Carrala or Ponte Amerigo Vespucci. The biggest confusion comes when you reach the Porta Romana traffic circle. At this circle, the SR2 Highway begins, but it is not well marked. If you are taking the street Viale Francesco Petrarca, you will want to take the first right that is offered on the circle. This right hand turn immediately splits: Stay straight and do not take the hard right.
From here, things get easier. Continue, following signs to Galluzzo. Make sure not to get on the A1 or the Raccordo Autostradale Siene-Firenze highways. A smaller road will branch off from SR2 that will take you to Greve in Chianti. At this point there will be signs for La Cassina and Greve in Chianti.
Once in Greve in Chianti, tasting-rooms and cellar tours abound. They are offered by most wineries every day, with a short break for lunch. The local visitor centers are poorly operated for the most part, and it is better to just buy the maps sold at the local tobacconists for five euro. These maps provide winery locations and contact information. I rarely call wineries in advance, but certain wineries require advance reservations. If there’s a particular winery that you want to visit, check on their requirements. Wine-tastings can be free or cost between five-15 euro.
The best towns for wine-tasting are: Greve in Chianti, Castellina in Chianti, Radda in Chianti, and Gaiole in Chianti. The roads connecting these towns are full of wineries.
Here’s a list of a few of my favorite wineries in Chianti:
Fattoria La Ripa
Rocca Delle Macíe
Here is a link to an official list of wineries in Chianti, Tuscany (Toscana in Italian). Chianti Storico also offers a good list of wineries with wine tasting information.
Feel free to comment or ask any questions.
Written by Mattie Bamman for EuropeUpClose.com