Located in Tuscany, Italy the Chianti wine region produces the red wine simply known as Chianti. The region has muliple subregions covering over 170,000 acres of vines with more than 5,000 wineries. With so much to do and see, a guide to touring the Chianti region can help you decide what to do while you visit.
Getting to the Chianti Wine Region
The Chianti wine region sits in Tuscany between the towns of Florence and Siena. Therefore, your best bet for flying in to the area is to fly into the airport in Florence (FLR). When you tour the region, you'll drive along the SR 222, also known as Chiantigiana. If you're not taking a guided tour or working with a driver, make sure you have a GPS because many of the wineries in the Chianti region are off the beaten path.
7 Top Chianti Wineries to Visit
With thousands of wineries, how do you know where to visit? Below are some of the top Chianti wineries to visit as recommended by wine publications, travel blogs, and travel sites such as Decanter, Food & Wine, Condé Nast Traveler, and Fodor's Travel.
1. Marchesi Antinori
Marchesi Antinori is one of the largest wine estates in Tuscany. The Antinori nel Chianti Classico is a modern winery overlooking the countryside of Chianti Classico. It offers multiple tours and experiences, so visiting the website for reservations is a must for this architecturally beautiful winery, which was built in 2012.
2. Castello di Ama
Visitors to Castello di Ama can enjoy wine, food, art, and even stay in one of five luxuriously appointed suites. Located in a historic 18th century villa, Castello di Ama offers a full wine, art, and history experience.
3. Barone Ricasoli
With 240 hectares of vineyards and 26 olive groves, Barone Ricasoli draws from hundreds of years of tradition in the Chianti wine region. Visitors can tour, sip wine, dine, and visit Brolio Castle to discover history and art. It's located in the commune of Gaiole.
4. Castello Vicchiomaggio
Located near Greve, Castello Vicchiomaggio overlooks the Greve valley. Like many other wine estates in Tuscany, it offers a full service wine experience from tours and tasting to dining to lodging. It's the perfect place to visit in Tuscany for a romantic wine retreat.
6. Castello di Nipozzano (Frescobaldi Estates)
The Castello di Nipozzano estate with its thousand-year-old castle is located in Chianti Ruffina overlooking the Arno River Valley. Visits to the castle and wine estate are available by reservation, and there are also four rooms available for lodging.
7. Fattoria Pomona
Fattoria Pomona is located in Castellina in Chianti. The winery welcomes visitors with reservations.
Tips for Visiting Chianti Wine Estates
When you visit Chianti, the experience will be different from visiting other wine regions. As you travel along SR 222, you'll find that many of the wineries are off the beaten-path, tucked into the rolling hills and valleys that characterize the region. Some tips for visiting the region for self-guided tours:
- While many wineries do have drop-in tasting rooms or kiosks, to get a true wine experience in Chianti, it's best to make appointments. With an appointment, you'll have access to more wines and winery tours.
- Make appointments weeks or months in advance by contacting the wineries you wish to visit directly.
- The pace here is slow. Only plan to visit one or two wineries each day, leaving plenty of time for appointments for driving.
- Plan at least 60 minutes travel time between appointments.
- If you're taking a self-guided tour, you'll need GPS.
- Many wineries also offer lodging, so it may be a great way to stay while in the region.
Chianti Wine Tours From Florence
You can also take organized Chianti wine tours originating in Florence. A few options include the following:
- Select Italy offers multiple tours in Chianti and throughout the greater Tuscany region. Shared group tours start at about $153 per person.
- Discover Tuscany offers shared tours and private tours in Florence. Pricing starts at about $100 per person.
Chianti Wine Tours From Rome
If you're visiting Rom and wish to take a side trip through Chianti, then there are tours to the region that originate in Rome, as well.
- Tuscany countryside day trip from Rome starts at about $150 per person.
- Stefano Rome Tours offers a Chianti Classico tour starting at €500.00 for two people.
Best Times to Visit the Chianti Wine Region
The best times to visit the Chianti wine region are when the weather is pleasant but crowds are relatively small.
- April through May the weather is pleasant, and fewer crowds visit.
- June through August is hot, and the crowds are large.
- September through early November has smaller crowds but still pleasant weather.
- Late November through March is chilly (temperatures in the 30s) with lots of rain, but crowds are smaller. Many properties are closed during these winter months.
Explore the Chianti Wine Region
If you love travel and wine, then the Chianti wine region is a terrific place to explore. With some planning, you can enjoy a wonderful trip to one of Italy's premier wine regions.