Chianti is a world famous wine-producing region between Florence and Siena. Since the Etruscan time wine has been produced here. The countryside is beautiful with green, gentle hills covered with vineyards and olive groves. In between are many charming small stone villages and wine farms.
The Chianti Classico is the oldest and most genuine area within the Chianti region and is the origin of the Chianti Classico wines with their unmistakable pink banderole and the Black Rooster seal. To be named "Classico" it is not enough to be produced inside the Chianti Classico region. In fact Classico wine has to respect specific rules. Its blend is at least 80% Sangiovese grapes and a maximum of 20% for other grapes. That can be native grapes such as Canaiolo and Colorino, as well as other international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Our first stop in the Chianti region was the town of Castellina. It is located on a ridge above three valleys: Val di Pesa, Val d'Arbia, and Val d'Elsa. No matter what direction you turn, the panorama is always wonderful. The strong 15th-century medieval walls and fortified town gate gives a hint of the history of Castellina. It was an outpost during the continuing wars between Florence and Siena. In the main square (Piazza del Comune) there is a 15th-century palace and a 15th-century fort constructed around a 13th-century tower. Nowadays it serves as the town hall.