The Chianti wine is one of the most popular and iconic wines in all of Italy. Harvested from the Chianti region, it is known all in the world for its full body, rich flavor, and bright ruby color. It pairs very well with a wide variety of foods such as pasta dishes, grilled meats, and hard cheeses.
Chianti region in Tuscany: everything you should know
In this article, we are going to give you the information you need to know about it. But first, it is important to say that the Chianti is visited by thousands of people every year.
Also, notable and well-known people come there to visit this magical place every year. Someone make a little stop, like NBA star LeBron James did a few years ago, while others decided to invest here. An example is Sting: the former frontman of the Police bought Tenuta Il Palagio, a sixteenth-century estate nestling amongst the vineyards of the Chianti region. So here is everything you need to know about Chianti wine.
Where the Chianti Comes From?
Everyone in the world knows the Chianti, but from which region does it come? Florence and Siena, the two most representative cities of an important period in Italian history, are at the two ideal ends of a road in the middle of which lies Castellina in Chianti, an Etruscan town in Tuscany if ever there was one. For those making their first visit to Tuscany, Castellina is the ideal gateway to get to know the region: the Chianti area with its pearls such as Greve in Chianti or Castelnuovo Berardenga; the nature and panorama that can be seen when crossing the Pesa, Arbia and Elsa valleys.
There is space and a way for everyone to enjoy their free time. For children, there are many parks to visit, various activities to do outdoors, and as many agritourism where they can get to know nature and the animals of an authentic Tuscan farm.
Castellina in Chianti: the origins
The origins of Castellina in Chianti date back to Etruscan times: many remains are visible and can be visited both at the well-signposted archaeological sites and at the Archaeological Museum in the historic center. Salingolpe, as it was known in the early Middle Ages, was given as a fief by Matilda of Tuscany to the powerful Conti Guidi family in the 11th century.
In the mid-1200s, the “Lega del Chianti” was formed as a governing body, of which only Castellina, Radda, and Gaiole were members; then the Florentines turned it into an important stronghold due to its strategic position between Florence and Siena, fortifications of which traces can still be seen today, such as the Rocca. The town was destroyed and rebuilt many times during the wars between the two Tuscan cities, and each time its walls grew larger and stronger. According to legend, Brunelleschi was also asked to work on the project to build new walls.
The village still has the typical four-sided shape of the ancient medieval fortifications and remains of the many towers that once served to protect the city from invasions during the period of conflict between Florence and Siena, now incorporated within the modern architectural structure. The main fortification, the Rocca with its imposing 14th-century tower, offers spectacular views over the town and surrounding countryside, a wonderful place to celebrate civil weddings or other types of events.
The Church of San Salvatore is definitely worth a visit. Rebuilt in 1945 after the devastation suffered during World War II, it still houses a remarkable fresco by Lorenzo Bicci depicting the Virgin Mary with Child and a wooden statue from the Renaissance period.
Are all Chianti Wines From Tuscany?
Castellina is one of the 14 municipalities in which Chianti Classico wine is produced, whose cultivation extends between the provinces of Florence and Siena: in the municipalities of Greve, Castellina, Gaiole and Radda, and part of the territory of the municipalities of Barberino Val d’Elsa, San Casciano in Val di Pesa and Tavarnelle Val di Pesa in the province of Florence, and the municipalities of Castelnuovo Berardenga and Poggibonsi in the province of Siena.
Author: Eduardo Lubrano
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