Driving through Chianti and a wine festival

When in the Chianti Region, one must try the wine. We took it one step further and visited the Greve in Chianti Wine Festival.

Our time in Chianti followed two days in the Val d’Orcia. From the rolling hills outside of Montepulciano, the Chianti region was much more dense with trees and forest.

Our base for our two days in Chianti was the farmhouse that makes up part of the Castello di Verrazanno estate. The vineyard has been operating since the 12th century. The views from the castle are pretty amazing and the wine was pretty good as well. As a guest, you can enjoy the buffet breakfast in the morning at the top of the hill.

Besides tasting wine here on our first day, the breakfast was another highlight of our stay. It was a beautiful spread of boiled eggs, porchetta, cheese, bread, yogurt, fresh figs, three different kinds of cake and a few other things I can’t even remember! It was definitely the highlight of the trip as far as breakfast goes and it sets a high standard!

Castello di Verazzano breakfast
This is what you call a breakfast buffet! All fresh. All homemade. We met the chef who was very friendly and even more proud of his creations.

Visiting the tiny hamlet of Volpaia

After a very filling breakfast, we started our mini tour of the area. We started off driving south towards Radda in Chianti, however turned east to a small castello and town on top of a hill called Volpaia.

Church in Volpaia
Church in Volpaia
Bench seat in Volpaia
Having a short break while wandering through Volpaia

Visiting the compact town of Panzano

After a short stop in Volpaia, we then backtracked towards Panzano. Before exploring the town, we first stopped into Pieve in Panzano to visit a small church.

Panzano countryside
The view looking at Panzano in Chianti

We then explored Panzano for a hour or so before having lunch at Cantinetta Sassolini. This is where Deane had a beautiful best pumpkin risotto the year before. Though this time we were too early for pumpkin so she had the saffron and leek risotto instead. I had the potato ravioli with mushrooms and sausage and Marce had a ragu taggliotti.

Everything was great but the dolci were even better! I had my standard tirimisu, Deane had a beautiful coffee cheesecake with chocolate and aniseed sauce and Marce had what tasted like a panna cotta with wild berry sauce. We finished the meal with machiattos with cocoa. Strong, but good! (Italians don’t drink cappuccino after about 11am).

Cantinetta Sassolini
Buonissimo!
Cantinetta Sassolini espresso
Thou shall not drink coffee with milk after midday

The tiny and quiet town of Montefioralle

Before heading back to the farmhouse, we made a quick stop in Montefioralle. As it was starting to get late, we didn’t do too much other than stroll around the very beautiful (and not busy) streets. We only saw a handful of other tourists the whole time we were there. Perfetto!

Walking through Montefioralle
The tiny and compact town of Montefioralle
Montefioralle sign
I’m a sucker for chalk written signs
Montefioralle
Such a gorgeous town and hardly any tourists to be seen!
Dirt pathway in Montefiorelle
So pretty!

The Greve in Chianti Wine Festival

In the evening we went into Greve for the wine festival. For 10 euros you officially get a (real) wine glass and seven wine tastings. Though unofficially you get more than seven tastings if the people running the wine stalls don’t stamp your book (which rarely happened). In the end, I lost track of how many we had and Deane only had one stamp in her book after she asked for one as a momento. Best wine festival ever!

Near the end of the night most of the stalls were closed down but you could go to the main stall and try any of the wine that was left. All you had to do was say a number between 1 – 70, representing the 70 wines on offer. To break up the wine tastings we went to a restaurant along the square and had a couple pizzas. It was definitely an improvement on the meal the night before! Marce drove us back to the fattoria (there was no way I was driving!) and there was no fashion show this night. Boo!

Greve in Chianti wine festival
Of course she had to buy a shirt!
Greve in Chianti wine festival
Posing in front of the statue in the piazza in Greve in Chianti

The Greve in Chianti Butchershop

I can’t end this post without mentioning the butcher in town. It’s called Antica Macelleria Falorni and has been in Greve since 1806! A must stop if you like meat or are just interested in history.

IMG_0885
So many options

Our 10 day trip to Italy included: two days in Rome, an overnight in Orvietotwo days driving around the Val d’Orcia based in Montepulcianotwo days in Chianti based outside of Greve in Chianti3 days and 2 nights in Cinque Terrea stopover in Pisa and two days and nights in Venice.

To read more about our time in Greve in Chianti, including a wine tour at Castello di Verrazano click here.

We visited Greve in Chianti in mid-September 2015.

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