Wine tasting in the territory of Chianti Classico is part of the scenery, especially if done on site. You can ﬁnd many of these tastings and direct sales in the area. Or you can visit the more prestigious wineries, whose names have made history: Antinori in Bargino (San Casciano); Castello di Verrazzano, Vignamaggio (Greve in Chianti); Isole e Olena, Monsanto (Barberino Val d’Elsa).
Here we propose a small tour of about a day in the area of Greve in Chianti where you can visit three wine cellars run by their young owners. Here both quality and rapport with their visitors are fundamental.
In the “Conca d’Oro” a wine which looks at the moon is born
In Panzano in Chianti, in the “Conca d’Oro”, a lovely valley which hosts some of the best Chianti Classico production, you can ﬁnd “Vallone di Cecione”, owned by Francesco Anichini.
Francesco has been running the family winery together with his parents (Giuliano and Anna), whose 1975 photo is on the label. Francesco creates his wine following the organic and bio-dynamic credo. He plants his vineyards in a fascinating way which he explains to us. “We plant alternate rows of a mix of herbs which exude organic substances (arugola, fava beans, mustard seed, horseradish, peas) with others which have the effect of reducing energy and refreshing the soil; barley, for example.
This gives life back to the underground.” It is best to visit the Vallone di Cecione in the springtime when the rows are in bloom. They emit wonderful perfumes and colors which make this corner of the Conca d’Oro a paradise.
Baldini: “Altiero” winery, named in honor of his grandfather
Paolo Baldini is a young producer who is full of enthusiasm His winery is located on the natural “terrace” which dominates the town of Monteﬁoralle.
The winery is named “Altiero”, in honor of his grandfather, who was a farmer here. When the immense company that dominated thie zone was sold, Altiero bought this small tract of land which Paolo cultivates with love today.
“Wine is everything for me,” says Paolo when you meet him. “It is passion and reaching your goal the whole year. It certainly isn’t an easy task. Sangiovese is an ‘ignorant’ grape. It lacks the appeal of a Barolo or Brunello.”
Direct sales are at the heart of Paolo’s winery. “Many tourist guides appreciate us,” he says. “We have become friends. They like the fact that we are young, we are small and we do everything by ourselves. I leave the muddy ﬁeld, I go and….I explain.” “
We believe in Chianti Classico as a tradition,” concludes Paolo. “We joke about this at home and among friends. We want people to feel at home here.”
In the village of Monteﬁoralle…the Sieni family
On a few hectares facing the village of Monteﬁoralle, there is a jewel on the hills above Greve in Chianti. It is knowledge from the past which looks at the future.
The Azienda Agricola Monteﬁoralle is run by Fernando Sieni and his son, Lorenzo. Here around 10,000 bottles a year are produced. “We sell it all to private entities in the entire world, except for a restaurant in Monteﬁoralle and a wine shop in Greve.
The rest of our clients are people who come to see us or order our wine because they know us. We try to be “0 kilometers’, even at 10 kilometers of distance.”
tie between the Sienis and Monteﬁoralle is very strong. “At least 4 generations of Sienis have lived here,” Fernando tells us. “My great grandfather deﬁnitely lived in Monteﬁoralle. I was born here and wine has always been a daily presence. My grandfather, Fernando, drank 2 and a half liters a day. It was his diet. They called him ‘Bastiano’. He needed wine to go with his consumption of 4,000 calories a day, and nobody ever saw him drunk”.
“We use Sangiovese, Canaiolo and Colorino for Chianti Classico. A little Merlot and Cabernet for the Igt. All our wine is aged in barriques. This is the recipe for Chianti Classico… Sieni style.”