Brolio Castle and other magic Castles of Chianti wine

Chianti and castles, an indissoluble pair, below is just a very specific yet eclectic selection.

Castello della Leccia

it is a mediaeval hamlet dating back to the 11th century. This restored castle offers spectacular views as one looks down into the Val d’Elsa.

Castello di Spaltenna

Not far from Gaiole in Chianti is the Tuscan fortified settlement of  Spaltenna, consisting of the Castello di Spaltenna, the Romanesque parish church of Santa Maria in Spaltenna and a monastery. This castle of Chianti of Chianti was first documented in 1030 and is surrounded by over a thousand acres of the Sangiovese grape vineyards.

Rocca di Castellina in Chianti

A spectacular view of the Chianti hills is enjoyed from the top of the tower of the Rocca di Castellina in Chianti. The first recorded mention of this castle of Chianti goes back to the early 15th century when Florence – in the hope of stopping Siena from attacking its southern State borders – had a new fortress and defensive walls built in Castellina in Chianti. Greatly steeped in history, this establishment features high walls and has hosted the Archaeological Museum since 2006.

Castello di Monterinaldi

The rolling hills of Val di Pesa surround the Castello di Monterinaldi. Another piece of an ancient history that unfortunately has only a few ruins left. Nonetheless, the ruins of this castle of Chianti as well as the village Monterinaldi are both worth a visit.

Castello di Brolio

The peaceful and ancient land of Chianti is also home to the famous, Castello di Brolio. The castle truly is a place replete with history and legend. Built during the High Middle Ages it soon belonged to the Ricasoli family who had the castle converted into their mansion. Because of its strategic location, over the years, Brolio Castle was a silent witness of the battles between Florence and Siena. Indeed, the castello was right on the border that divided the land belonging to Siena and to Florence. Siena won the castle back from Florence on a few occasions but Florence managed to recapture it in the end. Over the years, the Brolio Castle was attacked, destroyed and rebuilt because of the many battles this part of the Italian land has seen – from the Spanish invasions to the seventeenth-century attacks, up until the aerial bombardments during the Second World War. Nowadays, Brolio castle is the largest winery in the Chianti area counting 230 acres of vineyards all around it as well as 1200 acres in between Gaiole and Castelnuovo Berardenga. It all started with Bettino Ricasoli, also known as Barone di Ferro, i.e. the Iron Baron, apparently nicknamed like this because of his strong personality. According to tradition, the Barone di Ferro in 1872 created the formula of Chianti. The Iron Baron’s determination and experimentation produced such a high-quality wine for the time that he gained international recognition and became a competitor with the undisputed wine leaders of the time: the French. His heirs have maintained the tradition of their ancestor and still run the wine company winning the Ricasoli family the title of being the fourth oldest company in the world according to family business, in other words a company that is still managed by the family who had initially founded it.

The Chianti area of Tuscany is well renowned for being the birthplace of some of the most famous wines in the world. The beautiful vineyards set in the rolling hills amidst the breath-taking views of the Italian countryside are also home to many beautiful castelli, which is castles in Italian.

The Chianti area is probably the most highly dense in terms of such estates. It is worth of note that many of the castles of Chianti have been converted to wineries over the years and they offer wine tours of the vineyards and cellars, and wine tasting of the prestigious Chianti wine.