While our Tuscany Untour is in Brunello wine territory, the Chianti Valley is within easy day trip distance and offers another flavor of farm traditions, scenery, village life, and viniculture. If you love natural beauty, robust red wines, and hearty food, look no further than the Chianti Valley.
The Chianti villages hold a special place in our heart and a special key to understanding the winemaking traditions of Tuscany. Here are some of our favorite villages to explore in Il Chianti.
You’ve heard of Slow Food, a global movement started in Italy in the 1980s focused on a return to local production and tradition—the antithesis of fast food. The mayor of the small town of Greve took it a step further, pioneering the concept of the Slow City. His concern for preserving traditional, small-town life in Greve has led to expanded pedestrian zones, enhanced parks and strict rules against car alarms and other noise and a ban on advertising and neon in the town center.
Explore Greve’s local restaurants, featuring locally grown produce and area wines. Stroll through the arcaded Piazza del Mercatale. Greve is considered the capital of the Chianti Valley, and wine shops abound. You can sample local wines here and shop for a limitless selection of Chianti Classico.
This lovely hill town overlooks the vineyards and gives visitors a sweet taste of small town Tuscan life. Its impressive stone walls and fortress stand as a reminder of its strategic importance in the wars between Siena and Florence.
The town’s Archaeological Museum offers a very localized view of Etruscan and Roman settlements in the area, including artifacts and video. Afterwards, spend some time with the locals at the Enoteca Bottega del Chianti Classico, which offers a wide range of local wines and olive oil for sale and for tasting.
This small town in the eastern part of Chianti territory was once very important,
the capital of the powerful medieval Lega di Chianti. Visit the town center and take in the
palazzo and church on Piazza Ferrucci to get a taste of the town’s powerful past.
Just to the south of Radda, you can visit the Coltibuono Abbey (Badia a Coltibuono)
on the grounds of an 8th century hermitage. The 11th century church of San Lorenzo is
a gorgeous Romanesque building. The abbey’s upscale restaurant serves fine food
and wine from the area. Reserve ahead.
A bustling little market town, Gaiole offers typical cantinas and charming cafes. It is another great
place to sample local wines and village life both. Try the wine co-operative on Via Mulinaccio. Just to the west of town are the impressive rampart ruins of the Castello di Vertine.
The Chianti Valley is an easy day trip from our Untours home base in Montalcino. We hope you can join us on a Tuscany Untour soon. Our Untours are running as usual for fall of 2021 and all of 2022. Cin cin!