Chianti isn't just a wine, but a well defined region of central Tuscany and the wine takes its name from the region. The etymology of its name is open to debate, however it goes back many centuries. Worth noting is the production zone for Chianti wine reaches vastly further than the actual geographical boundaries. The geographical boundaries, are the lands between Florence to the North, and Siena to the South.
Chianti is synonymous to Tuscany, and when people say they’d like to tour Tuscany, they’re usually thinking of Chianti, not realizing that Tuscany is a vaster place of about 8,870 sq miles. However Chianti is by far (along with the Val d’Orcia), Tuscany’s prettiest and most Iconic region. Vineyards, old farmhouses, woodland and cypress trees, adorn the hills as far as the eye can see. Great attention is paid to the aesthetics of the land by farmers and vine growers, giving yet another element of engaging beauty.
Some think of Chianti as a place only for wine aficionados, but what a mistake! It’s one of the world’s most beautiful locations, and a must for anyone who enjoys splendid countryside or photography. I've been driving around Chianti most of my life, and I assure you I never tire of the scenery. After so many years I still do photographic tours of Chianti for my own enjoyment.
If you want to do your own scenic tour of Chianti, I suggest you start at the Tignanello vineyards where you can enjoy the panorama from the road. It’s not easy to find, but head for Santa Maria Macerata Greve in Chianti, and you’ll get there. Then go to Gabbiano Castle, for some more lovely photos of Chianti, they don’t mind if you browse around. After Gabbiano Castle, back track towards Quattro strade then take the secondary road to Panzano in Chianti. Take in the views from Panzano, then proceed to Radda in Chianti. For your return to Florence, head back via Greve in Chianti. This route will take you to see some splendid scenery.
|The Tignanello Vineyard|
If you’d like to take a tour with me, click on one of these for more info.
I've also put together a couple of tours for non wine drinkers. They combine a photographic safari of the Chianti landscapes, with visits to either San Gimignano or Siena.