Dec 122013
 
Vinyards in Chianti and small hilltop villages

Vinyards in Chianti and small hilltop villages

Welcome to the first in a short series on Italian Wines. Posts in this series should fill the holiday period whilst we are slowing down for christmas.

I was lucky enough to spend two months in Europe over this last European summer, and spent a week of this in Tuscany. One of the highlights of Tuscany is the Chianti wine region in the province of Florence. It’s not far from Florence and Sienna and worth visiting due to the degustation experience of Chianti wines.

When one drives into Chianti the vineyards are immediately everywhere. The views of the rolling hills, vineyards and medieval hilltop towns put you into the mindset of Tuscan living – fine eating, fine wine and a slower speed of living. The Chianti region supports a variety of agricultural activities, but of main interest to Aussie Wine Guy is the varieties of grapes that go into the world-famous Chianti and “Super Tuscan” wines.

Main piazza in Greve

Main piazza in Greve

On this particular journey into Chianti, we ended up at the town Greve in Chianti. When the Chianti wine district was enlarged 1932, the town of Greve found itself in the wine area of Chianti and in 1972 the town renamed itself. Today Greve’s beautiful surrounding landscape draws tourists for a number of reasons. The reason for AWG visiting Greve was the viniculture, wine-making and degustation.

The entrance to the cellars of Le Cantine

The entrance to the cellars of Le Cantine

The day in Greve started with a classic tuscan lunch in the town square, before venturing through the various local shops selling a variety of local cheeses and cured hams. In Greve there are a number of wine tasting options, and even a Wine museum. We decided to venture to Le Cantine which boasts over 100 different wines to taste! Le Cantine is set-up with a modern wine tasting system which is becoming common amongst supplier of the degustation experience. This is the same system that Aussie Wine Guy tested in Queenstown, New Zealand, when we tasted the 2007 vintage Grange.

One purchases a card in Euros of the value of your choice (we chose €20) and then commences the degustation experience! An hour later, and this Aussie Wine Guy had tried over 10 difference Super Tuscans and class Chianti varieties. In the coming posts of this series, I’ll be reviewing each one for your pleasure.

Ted

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