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Chianti Hills

CHIANTI HILLS REAL ESTATEITALIAN PROPERTY FOR SALE IN CHIANTI, WINE ESTATE FOR SALE IN CHIANTI

Looking for a villa or a wine estate on the Chianti Hills? Or maybe you prefer a farmhouse for sale on the Chianti Hills? We offer an ample selection of properties, both restored and to be restored, in the beautiful countrysides of Tuscany, between Arezzo, Siena and Florence.

Romolini Immobiliare offers an exclusive selection of villas, apartments and houses on the Chianti Hills with panoramic landscape, wine estate, farms, wineries with vineyards, period villas, castles, renovated farmhouses, luxury apartments, hunting reserves, villas with gardens, estate with vineyards and farmhouses with olive groves all over Tuscany.

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LAND OF WINE

The Chianti is one of the most renowned areas of Tuscany and one of the Italian excellencies in the world and is known for both its beautiful landscapes and its superb wine. Geographically speaking, the Chianti is a wide region including several provinces: it starts from the hills between Siena and Florence (the Chianti Classico) and extends towards Arezzo, Pisa, Prato, Grosseto and Pistoia. The land is mainly covered in woodland (two third of it, composed of oaks, chestnuts and conifers) and is recognizable by its green rolling hills, its vineyards and olive groves, small hamlets, parish churches, stone farmhouses, castles and archaeological sites.

The historic of Chianti is indissolubly linked to the one of Tuscany. These lands have been influenced by the Etruscan and Roman domination, but even by the numerous battles which took place here during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance between Florence and Siena. The area was, in fact, a strategically relevant mark as testified by the numerous castles and fortresses built here over the centuries. The land of Chianti is traditionally linked to the production of wine, a business going back to the Roman age.

The name Chianti appears for the first time in a parchment dated 790 but it was only used with reference to the region. The first reference to wine production in the region dates back to 913. In 1023 a settler obtained a plot of land “arable and covered in vineyards” to produce wine in Grignano.

Several noble families emerged in the late Middle Ages: the Ricasoli (in Brolio since 1141) and the Antinori (since 1385) are the most known. Florence saw the rise of the Arte dei Vinattieri and with the opening of inn and taverns, wine became a commonly drunk beverage.

In 1398 the Chianti wine was rigorously white and we have no means to date the changing in color. We know the wine was much appreciated for being “fresh and lively” thanks a new vinification method introduced in 1364 by Giovanni Durante e Guido Bernardi which required adding some products to increase the quality of the beverage (raisins, albumen, almond and salt).

During the 15th century, authorities started supervising the production of Chianti wines, with the introduction of an ante-litteram procedural guideline and fines for those producing counterfeit wine.

Until the 18th century, the Chianti wine was produced almost exclusively with Sangiovese grapes and only at the beginning of the 19th century producers started experimenting with new grapes to increase the quality of their wines.

Several mixes were proposed until the intervention of Baron Bettino Ricasoli who established in 1840 that the best mix for a “pleasant, crisp and ready to drink” red wine was Sangiovese (70%), Canaiolo (15%) and Malvasia (15%). This “receipt” was then altered adding the Trebbiano, but nowadays many producers went back to the root using just Sangiovese for their wine. Others experimented with French cultivars, adding Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to their receipt.

The origin of the name cannot be tracked with absolute precision but the two most probable theories have the toponym Chianti going back to the Latin work clangor (meaning ‘noise’, and probably related to the hunting sessions held in the forest covering the area) or to the Etruscan word clante (meaning ‘water’ and linked to the presence of a great deal of water in the area).

What is certain is that Etruscans and Romans both understood the potential of the area for the production of wine. However, the first documents where the word “Chianti” is used to point the region where wine was produced date back to the 13th century with the establishing of the Lega del Chianti (League of Chianti) from the terzieri of RaddaGaiole and Castellina. The coat of arms of the League was a black rooster and it would become the symbol of the Consorzio del Vino Chianti Classico.

During the 17th century, exportation of Chianti wine to England were no longer occasional but instead really frequent and considerable in size.

In 1716 the Grand Duke Cosimo III had a document published which established the borders of the areas where Chianti, Pomino, Carmignano and Val d’Arno di Sopra wines could be produced. A decree was also added to monitor production and sales of the wine avoiding frauds. 

“[…] for the Chianti it is established: from the Spedaluzzo towards Greve; from there to Panzano with the whole podesteria of Radda which includes the three communities of Radda, Gaiole and Castellina, southwards to the borders with the Duchy of Siena.” (Cosimo III de’ Medici, 1716)

The division of Tuscany into communities and provinces ordered by Ferdinand III stated that Chianti should be formed by the communities of Radda, Gaiole, Castellina e Greve.

“[…] the Florentine Republic was split, and the Medici Grand Duchy maintained the political district of Chianti in its three parts, which is to say Radda, Gaiole and Castellina, which once made up the League of Chianti and responded to the podesteria of Radda, subjected to the parish of Certaldo; while the community of Greve was subjected to the parish of San Giovanni Val d’Arno.” (Emanuele Repetti, 1833) 

In 1924 the producers founded the “Consorzio Gallo Nero” in order to protect the prestige of the wine and its name.

The Chianti area was expanded in 1932 based on a decree by the Italian government, thus expanding the area where Chianti wine could be produced without limitations. The new, expanded area was to be split in 7 sub-zones: Classico, Colli Aretini, Colli Fiorentini, Colline Pisane, Colli Senesi, Montalbano e Rufina.

The area was expanded for the last time in 1967 and led Chianti to its current shape, with the establishing of the Montespertoli sub-zone (previously included in the Chianti Colli Fiorentini area).

In 1996 the Chianti Classico area adopted a different guideline from the one of Chianti.

While wine and oil production is the main business in the area, other manufactures are also important such as marble, wrought iron, wood, blown glass, clay, terracotta and artistic ceramics).

With Romolini Immobiliare – Christie’s International Real Estate it is possible to rent villas, luxury villas, period mansions, farmhouses, Agriturismos and country houses in the most beautiful areas of Chianti.

 

DISCOVERING THE CHIANTI CLASSICO

The area of Chianti Classico is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating of Italy. Here below a list of some of the most beautiful and renowned towns.

- Castellina is an Etruscan town located right in the heart of Chianti. The most beautiful monuments of the town are Via delle Volte (a covered path built were once stood the walls of the hamlet), Palazzo Banciardi, Palazzo Squarcialupi, the Chiesa di San Salvatore, the Chiesa di San Giorgio, the Pieve di Santa Cristina, the keep, the walls and Villa Bargagli.

- Gaiole is one of the symbols of Chianti Classico. The main attraction of this town are the beautiful landscapes, the many wine estates, churches and castles dotting the countryside. Worth of special mention are the Castello di Brolio, the Badia di Coltibuono, the Pieve di Spaltenna and the Castello di Vertine.

- Radda is a medieval town which was once the core of the Lega del Chianti. The most interesting landmarks here are Palazzo Podestà, Chiesa di San Niccolò, Museo d’Arte Sacra del Chianti (inside the Franciscan convent of Santa Maria in Prato), the Ghiacciaia Granducale (a place where snow was stored prior to its conversion into ice) and the alleys and squares of the historic centre. Radda is protected by walls and surrounded by a beautiful countryside.

- Greve is located midway between Florence and Siena and, while small, is a very interesting town. Heart of the center is the main square (Piazza Matteotti) with its typical boutiques and stores. Other landmarks, all in the vicinity of the square, include the Chiesa di Santa Croce, Palazzo del Comune, the Statua di Giovanni da Verrazzano,the Wine Museum and the Museo di Arte Sacra. While exiting the city, it is impossible not to see the beautiful Castello di Montefioralle, the small villages of Panzano and Montegozzi and the Castello di Sezzate.

- Barberino Val d’Elsa is a beautiful medieval hamlet where numerous ancient palaces are located (such as the Palazzo del Podestà) and fascinating churches (the Chiesa di San Bartolomeo). Just outside the town are located the Pieve da Sant’Appiano and the Cappella di San Michele Arcangelo.

- Castelnuovo Berardenga is located in the southern part of Chianti and is appreciated for the unique beauties it offers. Among these there are Vicolo dell’Arco, the Chiesa di San Giusto e Clemente, the Chiesa della Madonna del Patrocinio and Villa Chigi Saracini. Other landmarks include castles, fortified towns and churches.

- Tavarnelle Val di Pesa hosts several churches worth visiting, such as the Badia di Passignano, Pieve di San Pietro in Bossolo, Chiesa di Santa Lucia al Borghetto, Chiesa di San Biagio and Chiesa della Madonna della Neve.

- Poggibonsi, with almost 30,000 citizens, is located in the province of Siena. Among the most beautiful monuments in the town we must recall the Fortezza di Poggio Imperiale, the Chiesa di San Lorenzo, the Castello della Magione, the la Fonte delle Fate, the Collegiata di Santa Maria Assunta and the Palazzo Pretorio. Other important destinations are the castle of Brolio (house of the Baron Ricasoli) and the Badia di Passignano (old headquarter of the Lega del Chianti). Nowadays, the numerous cellars and wineries of the area have become part of the tourist business of the area.

 

THE UNRIVALED TASTE OF CHIANTI CLASSICO

The Chianti Classico is produced on the hills surrounding Greve, Castellina, Gaiole, Radda, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Poggibonsi, Barberino Val d’Elsa, San Casciano and Tavarnelle Val di Pesa and has always been considered a pure excellence. The first difference with the other Chianti wines is the presence of the black rooster on the label, which was introduced and regulated in 1924 with the institution of the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico (nowadays comprising over 600 members). In order for a wine to be able to be labeled as Chianti Classico DOCG it must be produced in a precise area with a precise recipe: a minimum of 80% of Sangiovese and up to 20% of other red grapes (which could be typical of the area such as Canaiolo and Colorino or international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot). Sangiovese is thus the real soul of Chianti Classico.

The one between Chianti Classico and the typical tastes of Tuscan cuisine is a perfect marriage: this wine is perfect as a complement to games and seasoned cheeses and must be oxygenized before serving. The label must include the Chianti Classico DOCG denomination and the year the grapes were harvested.

 

CHIANTI SUB-ZONES AND THEIR WINES

Chianti wines are produced in the provinces of Arezzo, Florence, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato and Siena with Sangiovese grapes. Other varietals can be added for a better blend (Canaiolo Nero, Trebbiano, Malvasia del Chianti…). These wines can show on the bottle the name of the sub-zone where it is produced:

- Chianti Colli Aretini (province of Arezzo, with the municipalities of Cavriglia, Montevarchi, Bucine and Pergine Valdarno)

- Chianti Colli Fiorentini (province of Florence, with the municipalities of Fiesole, Bagno a Ripoli, Pontassieve, Pelago, Rignano sull'Arno, Reggello, Figline, Incisa Valdarno, Firenze, Impruneta, Scandicci, Montelupo Fiorentino, Lastra a Signa, Montespertoli and Certaldo)

- Chianti Colli Senesi (municipalities of Siena, San Gimignano, Monteriggioni, Pienza, Murlo and Colle Val d'Elsa)

- Chianti Colline Pisane (area between Pontedera and Volterra, including the municipalities of Fauglia, Crespina Lorenzana, Casciana Terme Lari, Chianni, Santa Luce, Orciano Pisano, Lajatico, Capannoli, Castellina Marittima, Palaia, Peccioli, the southern part of Ponsacco, Riparbella e Terricciola)

- Chianti Montalbano (provinces of Pistoia, Prato and Florence, with the municipalities of Serravalle Pistoiese, Monsummano Terme, Larciano, Lamporecchio, Quarrata, Capraia e Limite, Carmignano, Poggio a Caiano, Vinci and Cerreto Guidi)

- Chianti Montespertoli (province of Florence)

- Chianti Rufina (province of Florence, with the municipalities of Rufina, Dicomano, Pontassieve, Londa and Pelago).

In 1996, the denomination Chianti Superiore was first introduced; however it can only be applied to those wines produced following a stricter guideline (disciplinare). Chianti Superiore wines can be produced by every estate in the Chianti territory with the exception of the Chianti Classico: as a consequence, the name of the sub-zone cannot appear on the bottles.

With Romolini Immobiliare – Christie’s International Real Estate it is possible to rent villas, luxury villas, period mansions, farmhouses, Agriturismos and country houses in the most beautiful areas of Chianti.

 

TYPICAL PRODUCTS AND EXCEPTIONAL TASTES

The Chianti area is known not only for its prestigious wine but also for an exceptionally good extra virgin olive oil, two traditions born in the early Middle Ages when several forests were cut down to plant vines and olive trees. From that moment on, the business grew up to became a worldwide known excellence, thanks also to the optimal climate, the peculiar soil composition and the unique and perfected techniques developed throughout the years.

In order to protect, promote and valorize the Chianti oil, in 1975 it was decided to institute the Consorzio Olio DOP Chianti Classico, which list nowadays almost 250 affiliates. The Consorzio assist farmers and grants the compliance with the requisites so that the DOP Chianti Classico is expression of the land it is produced in.

Typical foods of the Chianti Hills are often found across the whole Tuscany. The most notable and appreciated are the ribollita (cooked and then boiled vegetables with bread crumbs), panzanella (which is watered bread with vegetables), the bruschetta with tomatoes, fettunta, crostini with chicken liver, finocchiata (a salami with fennel in it), raveggiolo (a soft fresh cheese), various games (boar, hare, roe deer…) and the beloved Fiorentina steak.

With Romolini Immobiliare – Christie’s International Real Estate it is possible to rent villas, luxury villas, period mansions, farmhouses, Agriturismos and country houses in the most beautiful areas of Chianti.

 

THE MOST INTERESTING EVENT IN CHIANTI

The most notable events in Chianti Classico are linked to the excellence of its wine with its centuries-old tradition. Among these the “Rassegna del Chianti Classico” (Greve in Chianti) and “Chianti d’Autunno” (tastings, concerts and exhibits) are the most interesting.

Gaiole in Chianti is also interested by the Eroica, a bicycle tour/completion on old bikes which allows its participants to enjoy the unique beauty of the Tuscan countryside.


CHIANTI HILLS IN TUSCANY, LUXURY ITALIAN PROPERTY FOR SALE | Chiantishire



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