Wine-Surfing in Tuscany (Cantine Aperte 2016)

I happen to love May and everything that comes along with it: the sunny days, the verdant hills, the many events, the balmy air and.., of course, Cantine Aperte. Italy wouldn’t be Italy if there was no wine involved!

Since 1993, member wineries of MTV (Movemento Turismo Vino) open their doors to personally meet the public on the last Sunday in May.

Tuscany, where outstanding wines and olive oil have been produced for centuries, is chock-full of great wineries. I wrote about some of them in my Cantine Aperte 2015 posts last year.

This year’s visit takes me  first to the gorgeous part of Tuscany near Florence and the bordering Chianti Classico region, Figline Valdarno. This medieval town was once known as the barn of Florence. Il Palagio estate, in the countryside, surrounded by vines and dark green, at-attention cypress trees, has been lovingly restored by Sting and his beautiful wife Trudie Styler.

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You can stop by, to taste and buy gorgeous wines, olive oil and more. Their Sister Moon is among the best 101 Italian wines.

The farm shop sells everything made or grown on the estate.

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What a stunning setting and beautiful winery! Surrounded by Chianti Classico vineyards, planted on steep hillsides to Sangiovese and Canaiolo grapes.  They produce some gorgeous wines here. We lucked out and had postcard style weather.

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Tasting quality Carpineto wines: Dogajolo, Chianti Classico, Chianti Classico Riserva, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva and Farnito Cabernet Sauvignon.

Castello di Querceto

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This is one of my favourite estates, located in the northeastern corner of the Chianti Classico region.

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It’s an unforgettable place in the heart of Tuscany, one of the fabulous castle wineries of the area.

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We had a wonderful experience here, and I can highly recommend this family owned and operated winery for lovely wine tastings, or even accommodation in the Chianti Classico region.

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Peacocks in the park
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Beautiful garden, tended with love and care.

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Radda in Chianti

Not too far away is another Tuscan wine mecca – Radda in Chianti. The road to Chianti is picture perfect Tuscany. This landscape with vineyards and olive groves has become familiar through its depiction in Italian Renaissance paintings, and every corner of it is rich in Tuscan authenticity.

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Located halfway between Florence and Siena, the Castello di Radda wine estate lies atop a hill facing the town of Radda in Chianti.

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This winery is one of the biggest in the area, and the surrounding scenery is simply gorgeous!

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The view was amazing and the estate maintained impeccably.  In the glass: Castello di Radda Toscana IGT Rosato.

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Vittoria gave us a detailed explanation, a true immerson in the world of Castello di Radda and its working philosophy.

Il Borro

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I previously wrote about this estate a year ago, I like it so much and I visit several times a year.

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A great stop for winetastings!

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The stunning pool overlooking the undulating countryside. Life should always be like this…

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The village of Il Borro – a journey into medieval Tuscany.

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Tenuta La Pineta

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A big reason for visiting Tuscany is to not just sample the great wines, but to have it served to you by the families who make it. We spent a lovely afternoon touring the vineyard and heard Luca share with us his love and passion for winemaking.

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And here are some of the gorgeous products you can take home to remind you of your visit to this beautiful region.

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Cheers! And, a presto!

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Castello di Brolio

Castello di Brolio is now home to the descendants of the Ricasoli family, who still live in the castle, so you can visit the gardens and the museum, but also admire the great view. All this followed by the wine tasting at the Ricasoli wine shop (included in the entry ticket).

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Did you know that Baron Bettino Ricasoli was the first to create the recipe for what became the great Chianti wine famous all over the world?

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Here you get the opportunity to unwind and enjoy a different rhythm. Definitely worth a trip!

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Gaiole in Chianti

Voted by Forbes in 2008 as ‘the Most Idyllic Place To Live in Europe’, Gaiole in Chianti, located about 15 km northeast of Siena, is a town worth visiting. In the Middle Ages  Gaiole, Castellina and Radda formed the Lega del Chianti, which became the heart of the Chianti region.

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The Black Rooster (Il Gallo Nero), the symbol of Chianti: first, of the Chianti League in 13th century, and then of the Chianti Classico Consortium.

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I strongly recommend a stop at The Gastronomia Le Cose Buone in Gaiole’s main street. The owner, Andrea Povia, is a master sommelier able to guide you through the real attractions of Gaiole: its Chianti Classico wine and gorgeous dishes made of high quality products. The food is absolutely divine here, simple, fresh and cooked with a passion that is almost tangible. I always feel like a happy soul each time I visit!

Genuine products and Andrea's cordiality are the perfect match.
Genuine products and Andrea’s cordiality are the perfect match.
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Cantine Aperte (Open Wineries 2015), Part Two

Another important estate I highly recommend visiting is Il Borro.

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The Ferragamo family have preserved this picturesque area of natural beauty.

Here we got a chance to taste gorgeous wines accompanied by local specialities. My pick? I really enjoyed the elegant tannins of Il Borro, with its ruby colour, dry taste and its good body and consistency.  The broad and silky texture of this wine made me want another sip (and a piece of prosciutto, too)!

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Another wine producer, Tenuta Vitereta, have offered their best wines that express their strong personality through the balance of various sensations and wide scents.


And since you need something to go with your wine, some local produce, like excellent salame and prosciutto, directly from the tree! (Should definitely plant one of these in my garden…)


And, finally, here we are!.. In front of the Ponte Buriano, a seven-arch bridge I bet you are all acquainted with. Want a hint? This bridge was used by Leonardo da Vinci in the lower-right quadrant of one of his paintings. Another hint? No, I guess you all recognize ‘the Bridge’ behind the Mona Lisa.

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