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December 18, 2019

Where to eat in Tuscany: the best wineries

Hunting for taste experiences between vineyards and excellent wineries with a restaurant

Just an hour from Florence, perhaps crossing over into the provinces of Siena and Arezzo, eight major wineries offer guided visits, wine tasting sessions and even the exclusive touch of a refined cuisine based on local products accompanied by their own fine wines. It’s an unforgettable flavour experience.

A historic family of wine linked to the tradition of Chianti Classico, but from which were born those absolute masterpieces that are called Tignanello and Solaia. Here in Bargino, near San Casciano Val di Pesa, it boasts an innovative winery whose fame has been around the world. Rinuccio 1180 is the restaurant incorporated into the futuristic forms of the new winery with a breathtaking design overlooking the vineyards. The kitchen of chef Matteo Gambi combines the flavors of the Tuscan tradition reinterpreted with innovative techniques. Not to be missed: the crunchy pecorino flan with celeriac and porcini cream and rabbit ravioli with roasted tomato and bay leaf sauce and Pèppoli reduction. Via Cassia for Siena, 133, Località Bargino, San Casciano Val di Pesa Florence - ph. +39 055 2359720; every day 11.30am - 4.00pm.

In this castle that stands out for a millennium on Gaiole in Chianti, and in these beautiful and boundless vineyards, at the end of the nineteenth century, Chianti and modern Italian viticulture were born. At the foot of the cypress avenue leading to the ancient manor of Brolio. The Osteria del Castello offers traditional dishes expertly revisited. Try the Pici cacio e pepe with the dark onions, the cream of carrots from the garden with citrus fruits and almonds, the roasted local pigeon. Location Madonna a Brolio, Gaiole in Chianti, Siena - ph. +39 0577 730290; for lunch (12 -14: 30) and dinner (19 - 22) every day except Thursday, from 4 November to the end of December, Friday and Saturday open for lunch and dinner, from Sunday to Wednesday only for lunch.

On the Chiantigiana road, between Monteriggioni and Castellina in Chianti dominates the hill Villa Cerna, historic 10th century residence among Sangiovese vineyards owned by the famous Cecchi winery. On the slopes La Foresteria. Here the menu is à la carte and its essence is that of the Tuscan tradition: handmade pasta, grill, roaster (an unmissable taste experience, prerogative of Sunday) and a leitmotif: seasonality. But La Foresteria is also a shop where you can taste wines, cheeses and salami with the opportunity to make wine experience to discover the winery of the historic Villa Cerna farm and its Chianti Classico wines. Distinguishing features: The restaurant overlooks the vine terrace, with a breathtaking view. Location Casina dei Ponti, Castellina in Chianti, Siena - ph. +39 0577 1510998; for lunch (12.30 -14: 30) and dinner (19.30 - 22) every day except Wednesday.

We are in the Castel Nuovo Berardenga area, the farm of San Felice (Allianz property) is enhancing the heritage of vines of the Chianti tradition. The high-profile tourist reception is expanded by the Poggio Rosso restaurant located in the old town. The kitchen is led by the starred chef Fabrizio Borraccino: captivating proposals of modern tone alternate with dishes of more territorial matrix (open from mid-June to mid-November). The Pigeon with braised red onion, cream of barley and Pici with lampredotto juice, black cabbage, aged Pienza pecorino cheese and crunchy rigatino are two "must" to try. Location San Felice, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Siena - ph. +39 0577 3964; every day 19.30 - 22, closed from November 4th to April 10th.

Still in the Castel Nuovo Berardenga area, we find Dievole. An area of 600 hectares of vineyards, cypresses and olive groves in southern Chianti Classico. The heart of the company is in the village of Dievole which dates back to 1090: the cellar, the offices and also the homonymous country resort. The Dievole restaurant, called "Ristorante Novecento" to celebrate the estate's 900 years of history, is open from Monday to Sunday, both for lunch and dinner and offers a cuisine linked to the seasonality of the raw materials. During the summer, from June to September, it is possible to have lunch and dinner in the cool, in the beautiful "Aione", the historic tiled courtyard in the heart of the rose garden. The menu, which changes every month, offers a wide choice of appetizers, first and second, able to satisfy the most refined palates. Località Dievole, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Siena - ph. + 39 0577 322613

We are in Mercatale Val di Pesa, one of the oldest wineries in the Chianti Classico, where an ancient manor is immersed in a Stendhal syndrome landscape. A hundred meters from the castle in a farmhouse in a panoramic position, the restaurant Il Cavaliere offers a menu of a few dishes but very accurate and cooked with raw materials of the highest quality. Among the unmissable, the chicken liver croutons, roasted onions in castle vinegar, potato gnocchi and chestnut flour, and the free-range guinea fowl of brick. Via di Gabbiano, 12, San Casciano Val di Pesa, Florence - ph. +39 055 8218423, open Tuesday for lunch, Wednesday through lunch and dinner, closed from mid-November to mid-March.

We are in the Sienese Chianti Classico area, in a wine-growing area that has remained one of the most intact in all of Tuscany. And this is one of the historic companies of Gaiole in Chianti, but thanks to its enlightened owners, Lorenza and Marco Pallanti, has also become an extraordinary forge of contemporary art. Here the Ristoro di Ama offers recipes with ancient flavors prepared by Giovanni Bonavita. Dishes not to be missed: guinea fowl with chestnut cream and potato tortelli with Cinta Senese ragout and mushrooms. Location Ama, Gaiole in Chianti, Siena - ph. +39 0577 746191; for lunch (12 -15) and for dinner (19 - 22) every day, except Tuesday.

In Greve, this estate (property Santa Margherita Company, Marzotto Group) is a small pearl of Tuscany because its vineyards reach the heights of Sangiovese where a local biotype called Lamole has developed. Santa Margherita Tenimenti Toscani is the wine bistro that offers dishes of different Italian regional cuisines to match the prestigious labels of the Santa Margherita Group.
Not to be missed: fresh Tagliolini with tender veal emmentée and seasonal julienne vegetables in Parmigiano wafer and pork guanciaetto with stuffed tomato, vegetable caponatina and golden potatoes. Via Citille, 43, Greve in Chianti, Florence - ph. + 39 055 9332941; open from 11 am to 10 pm, except on Wednesdays.

An extraordinary estate of 700 hectares immersed in the Valdarno, owned by Ferruccio Ferragamo. It contains a medieval village of the Thousand, a centuries-old cellar, a spa and two restaurants: the Osteria del Borro which offers a real sensory journey and the Tuscan Bistro, where the chef Andrea Campani revisits traditional Tuscan recipes in a contemporary way in search of new combinations and flavors. Try Laura Peri's Roast Chicken Valdarno with potatoes and pepper sauce, grilled Octopus, courgettes and salicornia. San Giustino Valdarno, Arezzo, fraction Borro, 52 - ph. + 39 055 9772333.


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