Italy: Tuscany

Between San Gimignano and Siena

Chianti Classico, San Gimignano and some Super Tuscans
By Michèle Shah

This Guide was last updated on 30 March 2010
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Castello di Brolio

Address: Cantine del Castello di Brolio, 53013 Gaiole in Chianti (SI)
Tel: 0577 730220  Fax: 0577 730225
Geo-coordinates:  Latitude: 43:25:16N (43.42108)    Longitude: 44:27:21E (11.45594) 

The history of the Chianti Classico region – not only of its castles and walled cities but also of its agriculture and wine – has always been linked to the Barone Ricasoli family, residents in the castle since 1141. Today Ricasoli, in its majestic setting, is one of the most important producers in the area, possessing 250ha planted to vine (which have been completely replanted over the last 15 years) and extending from the castle walls across the amphitheatre of hills that descend towards Siena. Classic labels include an excellent Chianti Classico Castello di Brolio and well-structured and powerful Super Tuscan Casalferro. Brolio has a good restaurant (Ristoranti Osteria del Castello) where you can enjoy al fresco meals in spring and summer. Be sure to visit the castle grounds, which offer magnificent views over Chianti Classico all the way to Siena. From spring 2009 you will be able to visit the permanent historical exhibition in the Baron’s rooms in the castle. This is devoted to the innumerable mementos of the late Bettino Ricasoli, vintner and statesman (twice Italy’s Prime Minister), and the creator of the original Chianti Classico blend.

Useful information: The wine shop is open April to October, Monday – Friday 09.00-19.30 and on Saturday, Sundays and public holidays 11.00-18.30. From November to March open Monday - Friday only 09.00-13.00 and 14.00-17.30. Tasting costs €5 (if you buy a bottle there is no charge). Several tours are available. The best is the new ‘Tour Classico’ which includes a visit to the cellar, the new museum, the castle grounds and a tasting in a private room at €23. Options are available for groups of 10+ by appointment only (reserve through English, French and German spoken. For restaurant reservations call 0577 730290.


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