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, twelve 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 wine family linked to the tradition of Chianti Classico and from which two iconic wines Tignanello and Solaia were born. In Bargino, in the municipality of San Casciano Val di Pesa, boasts an innovative winery inaugurated in 2012, internationally recognized and admired. Rinuccio 1180 is the restaurant integrated in the futuristic forms of the winery, with a breathtaking design overlooking the vineyards. Chef Andrea Pelacchi's cuisine combines traditional Tuscan flavours revisited in a contemporary key, using only the highest quality raw materials. Among the not-to-be-missed dishes: cod, fried and mantecato, with chickpeas and lamb chops, Florentine peas and shallots. Via Cassia to Siena, 133, Località Bargino, San Casciano Val di Pesa Florence - ph. +39 055 2359720.
CASTELLO DI POMINO - FRESCOBALDI
Another historical emblem of wine to which seven estates belonging to the noble terroirs in the most suitable areas for wine in Tuscany Perano, Nipozzano, Pomino, Castiglioni, CastelGiocondo, Ammiraglia and Remole belong. At the Pomino Estate, we are in Pelago, Chianti Rufina, the bistrot Il Quartino enjoys an outstretched view over the vineyards and a terrace where it would be worth eating even in winter for the panorama it offers. Here the fast becomes slow, and a burger is not a sandwich, but a Km0 gourmet experience made with Chianina IGP and Black Angus meat grown in the wild on the nearby Nipozzano Estate, accompanied by homemade sauces and fries. Another speciality is "tartare" beaten with a knife, confit tomatoes, sprouts and bursting amaranth. Via Casentinese Bassa, 16a, Pelago, Florence - ph. +39 055 8311426.
CASTELLO DI BROLIO
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.
CASTELLO DI FONTERUTOLI
In the historical heart of the Chianti Classico area, it is still owned by the Mazzei family, who settled here in 1435 and planted a wine production, today the pride of the area. Its appearance has not changed much over the centuries, preserving some original buildings. Its refreshment point is the Osteria di Fonterutoli with a wonderful location where, if the weather is good, you can eat in the garden among the trees, surrounded by vineyards. Our advice: Pheasant salad, mushrooms and mayonnaise with basil, egg poché, buffalo cream and green beans with scapece, Chianti Tuna (rabbit macerated in extra virgin olive oil, pepper cream and ricotta cheese). Via Gaetano Donizetti, 2, Fonterutoli Siena ph. + 39 0577 741125.
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 San Felice winery (owned by Allianz) is enhancing the heritage of traditional Chianti grape varieties. The high-profile tourist welcome is extended by the Il Poggio Rosso restaurant located in the ancient village. The cuisine is led by chef Juan Quintero: captivating proposals with a modern tone alternate with more territorial dishes (open from mid-June to mid-October). San Felice, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Siena - ph. +39 0577 3964.
Also in Castelnuovo Berardenga area, we find Dievole Wine Resort. An area of 600 hectares of vineyards, cypresses and olive groves in the south of Chianti Classico. The heart of the estate is in the village of Dievole, which dates back to 1090: the winery, the offices and also the country Resort of the same name. The restaurant, called "Ristorante Novecento" to celebrate the 900 years of history of the estate, 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 period, from June to September, it is possible to have lunch and dinner al fresco in the Villa's rose garden. The menu, which changes every month, is able to satisfy the most refined palates. Dievole, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Siena - ph. + 39 0577 322613.
CASTELLO DI GABBIANO
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.
CASTELLO DI AMA
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.
POGGIO CASCIANO - RUFFINO
In Chianti, it is one of the six Ruffino estates, and its heart. in addition to the vineyards and the cellar, is a charming 16th century Renaissance villa, 10 km from Florence. On the first floor, overlooking a verone where if the weather is good you can eat among citrus fruits and roses, a year ago opened its restaurant Le Tre Rane - Ruffino led by Stefano Frassineti, a Chianti chef of vocation and research. We recommend the Florentine Tartara with vegetable garden gardener, the Spago alla chitarra with green tomatoes, cheek and fresh chilli pepper, the Faraona stuffed in Tuscan fashion with Alauda scented sauce. Via di Poggio al Mandorlo 1, Quarate, Bagno a Ripoli, Florence - ph. +39 378 3050220.
LAMOLE DI LAMOLE
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 dating back to the year 1000, a centuries-old wine cellar, a spa and two restaurants: Osteria del Borro, which offers a real sensory journey, and the Tuscan Bistro, where chef Andrea Campani revisits traditional Tuscan recipes in a contemporary key in search of new combinations and flavours. Try Laura Peri's Valdarno Chicken roasted with potatoes and pepper sauce, barbecued octopus, courgette and glasswort. San Giustino Valdarno, Arezzo, Borro hamlet, 52 - ph. + 39 055 9772333.