Wine Tasting to Get You Started:
Actually, when you arrive at Casacorvo, you can start straight away. The wine we offer as complimentary is a vino tavalo from the vines growing just a few minutes walk from your door, and from the Geografia co-operative winery just outside the village!
There are over one hundred vineyards in Gaiole commune alone, and there are five ‘communes’ that make up the Chianti Classico region. Our Apartment ‘Red File’ is bulging with information left by other guests, but here are a few to think about.
Two large operations:
Castello di Brolio. About 15min drive. Buy a ticket to go round the castle gardens and chose a nice day – stunning views from the castle battlements. You can then go down to the winery and use your ticket for wine tasting. Also nice restaurant. (2nd ‘major left turn on road to Siena)
Rocca di Castagnoli: About 10-15min drive. Another large choice of wines. Lovely hill top hamlet. I think they charge if you don’t buy, but they do have some reasonably priced bottles – so not too much of a sting! Excellent restaurant in hamlet – Il Cilliare. (1st major left turn on road to Siena)
Two smaller operations:
Riecine: You can see it from pool terrace. 30 min walk (10 min drive). Turn right by butchers, wind up past Enotecha and swing left at top and out into woods. Just walk up to office and ask. Low key, but knowledgeable (usually English speaking) staff. Basic range starts at about 15-18 euros a bottle, a little more than some places. This year (2013) the winery is undergoing a major expansion project (you can see the tower crane from our terrace), and they have moved their office down into the village piazza.
Castelnuovo di Ama: About 20 min drive. Nice little family business. Friendly little shop. Turn right off Siena road towards San Sano and Lecchi, climb up above Lecchi village and turn left by the very small chapel as the road turns right. (There is a sign).
Gaiole has a Tourist Information Office with yet more information.
Try the Cooking Classes at Malberghetto in Lecchi. Great fun, no skills required (I’ve done it!). Simone includes a lot of wine information and tastings with the lunch you’ve cooked. About 90 euro a head – your lunch and wine included of course. Pre-book, there is a web site – mention me!
Badia in Coltibouno: ‘Tasting Lunch’ – five course lunch with four wines for about 50 euros. Very nice. 15min drive towards Montevarchi.
**Self Catering Holiday Apartments in Chianti**