Top vineyard visits in the Chianti wine region

Are your taste-buds tingling for Tuscan wines? Here, we have a little guide to some of the best vineyards in central Italy where discerning palates and enticed amateurs can get right to the source of these preeminent vintages.
Whether you’ve developed a sommelier’s keen nose and discerning palate or you just love a good sip of Italian tradition while watching the sun catch in the lush vines that stretch over the hills, the vineyards of Tuscany are not to be missed. Our handy little list suggests a few of the best vineyards and wines for the connoisseur and dabbler alike.

Castello dei Rampolla

In the very heart of the Chianti region, you might come upon an estate that dominates a verdant hilltop near Panzano, where the vines grow thick with tradition and history. This is Castello dei Rampolla, a 13th century estate that has long been growing some of the best wines in Tuscany.

Owned and managed by the di Napoli family since 1739, they have culled and crafted premium Italian wines from their long tradition of vines. Introducing their renowned Bordeaux-style wine, Sammarco, from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in 1968, the dei Rampolla name travelled around the world. A Cabernet Sauvignon with a touch of Petit Verdot has become the latest revolution, Vigna d’Alceo, which is taking the wine world by storm, honoured with 99 out of 100 points from Wine Spectator with its deep, velvety flavours.

Open year round, Luca and Maurizia di Napoli show you this classic, picturesque vineyard steeped in Italian tradition.

If you want to top off your vineyard tour in Tuscany, combine this visit with a stay at the romantic castle hotel Castello del Nero and treat yourself to 1 Michelin starred meals, deluxe spa treatments and dreamy countryside views.

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Castello d’Albola

The Castello d’Albola stands like a sentinel in the Chianti hills, keeping watch on the traditions and the history that make up this wine-producing region. Under the care of the most noble Italian families for hundreds of years, it is now owned by the Zonin family, who have established the vineyards and estate as one the top producers of fine wines in Italy.

The 150 hectares of vines covering the steep Albola hills produce their most famous wine, Acciaiolo (among many others). This premium wine’s mix of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes evokes delicately balanced flavours of dark fruit and subtle spice.

The Castello d’Albola offers tours and tastings, but also first-class accommodation for those wishing to stay immersed in the experience. With two historic houses capable of accommodating groups 12 or 6, this vineyard is more than worth the short trip south from Florence.

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Castello di Volpaia

The famous Castello di Volpaia is much more than vineyard. Here, the whole town is part of the wine-making experience. Here, the cellars of the medieval churches, houses, and the underground passages have been converted to the aging of some of the best wines in Italy. Its no wonder this town is a sought after destination for wine connoisseurs.

Dating back almost a thousand years, this little town and its surrounding vineyards have been the center of attention in the history of Florence. The necessity of its medieval fortifications and surrounding walls hints at its importance and wealth derived from its wine making. Today, the Balifico wine, among many, is one of the most succulent combinations of Sangioveto and Cabernet Sauvignon that you might ever taste.

Castello di Volpaia offers excellent accommodation, ranging from exquisite villas and luxurious apartments all overlooking the vine-covered hills. Tours of the vineyards are easily arranged and include tastings of both the excellent wines and its hand-produced olive oils.

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Castello di Cacchiano

The roots of Castello di Cacchiano date back to the Roman period, but it is the 10th century family of Ricasoli that have made it what it is. Founded in 1974, the present vineyard is utterly state-of-the-art, and is renown throughout the world for its incomparable wines.

Nestled in the Chianti hills not far from Florence, Castello di Cacchiano’s history is as rich as its soil. And this soil produces Castello di Cacchiano’s most famous wine, Vin Santo del Chianti Classico DOC. This modern twist on an ancient classic brings warm flavours and rich, spicy aromas to the palate.

For tours and tastings, Castello di Cacchiano is available for bookings and will take you on a stunning trip from the mists of history to the modern creation of its wines. With views extending over vine-laced hills, you couldn’t find a more perfect place to sip some of the best wines in Italy.

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Fattoria le Pupille

Even before Elisabetta Geppetti became the owner of the stunning estate and vineyards of Fattoria le Pupille, this little farm had been producing excellent Sangiovese grapes. But these small quantities never made an imprint upon the landscape of wine production. Then, however, Geppetti took the reigns and, in 1985, the first of the Morellino di Scansano DOC was produced and history was made.

Now, and since the 1990s, Fattoria le Pupille has become a sensation in winemaking, rewarded for the constant level of exceptional quality. The Morellino wines, made of Sangiovese and a splash of Alicante and Malvasia Nera, continue to be sought after for there fruity character and delicate perfume.

There’s even a guesthouse to settle you in to the life of an Italian winemaker and tours to show you how its done. Get ready to drink a perfect blend of Italy’s past and present.

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