Chianti Classico to be specific!
Today I welcome you to another more well known area of Tuscany – Chianti Classico. This was about the furthest we traveled from our base and was a windy road up to the area but well worth it. Tuscany just seems to be filled with stunning views where ever you look…
What I am Drinking…
We started today with a trip to one of the oldest and largest vineyards in the region – Castello Brolio. This place was well set up for tastings with a slick bar area and several helpful people serving. I was impressed with the wine here but it felt a little bit more commercialised than I would like. Saying that, we did come away with a couple of bottles including a beautiful ‘Super Tuscan’ which Mr H and I enjoyed this past weekend in fact.
The exterior to this vineyard is one of the things which makes it particularly special as it is in the grounds of a castle which was passed into the hands of the noble Ricasoli family who have been linked to wine since as early as 1141! We wandered the exterior basking in the sunshine taking in the views.
In the afternoon we set off to our next wine stop in the region. A complete contrast to the first – Setriolo was run almost single-handedly by our warm and welcoming host, Susanna, who regaled us with tales of her woes over her vines being attacked by the local wildlife. There were many less commercially available wines to try here as they produce so much less. We tried two and they were both fantastic. They also have one or two rooms available here, I think the setting looked blissful if you want to chill out in the Italian countryside and drink great wine for a few days – and who wouldn’t enjoy that!??
Susanna showed us around the vineyard and winery, the small scale production methods were in stark contrast to the morning but no less worthy.
What I am Eating…
For lunch we stopped in the famous Panzano, a butchers shop with a kitchen headed up by Dario Cecchini. There was a queue out the door of the butchers itself. Once inside there were delightful tasters of bread with beef fat and cured meats – and this was all before lunch!
We progressed to the restaurant and were served a lunch of beef cooked in every way. As I understand it, this is how Dario works – aiming to use the whole of the animal, showing that every part can be delicious if cooked in the right way. I would have to agree with him there.
We found time to stop at one of the areas many great gelaterias on our way through the region. There was much gelato to be had on this trip but this was the best. It was seemingly placed in the middle of nowhere housing a raft of both classic and unusual flavours. We opted to try three different ones, with two spoons of course 😉
Nutella – Such a deep hazelnut flavour with a dark chocolate fondant like toping
Sour cherry – not my usual cup of tea but recommended and beautifully refreshing
Ricotta and fig – truly Italian flavours which did not disappoint.
Our day in Chianti Classico was a rich one. Rich in red meats and red wines to match in probably one of the most famous wine regions in Italy. I think I might need to move here!
Stay posted as I continue my adventures in Tuscany.
Mrs H x