When planning a wine tour in Tuscany, the famous Chianti Classico region is often the first place that comes to mind. It’s popular for good reasons, but you may also want to go off the beaten path to visit the lesser-known Chianti wine regions.
The area known as “Chianti” stretches 260 square kilometres (100 square miles) between Florence and Siena. You might be surprised to learn that it’s divided into eight sub-zones. Although all of them produce luscious Sangiovese-based wines, there are differences that are worth exploring.
For a unique wine tasting experience, consider visiting these four less touristy regions of Chianti.
Chianti Colli Fiorentini
The undulating landscape the borders the city of Florence to the south is known as Chianti Colli Fiorentini. These vineyards supplied Tuscan wines to residents in Florence for centuries through ground level portals in homes known as “wine windows.”
These days, there are more than 30 wineries in the Chianti Colli Fiorentini region. They produce Sangiovese-based wine that is fruity and pleasantly drinkable. It’s perfect for sipping on a terrace overlooking the vineyards and the city of Florence. You can learn more about this zone on our most popular Tuscan wine tour to three Chianti organic wineries.
Book the Chianti three wineries tour here.
The hills surrounding the town of Montespertoli make up the newest and smallest Chianti sub-zone. The countryside, which borders the Colli Fiorentini region, is postcard perfect with vineyards, olive groves and roads lined with cypress trees. Founded in 1997, Chianti Montespertoli has a special terroir. Some areas have sandy soil that produce elegant wines with easy drinkability. In other parts, soils with more clay content result in complex, more concentrated wines with good aging potential.
The producers in Montespertoli recently formed a winemaker’s association and are looking forward to welcoming more visitors. You can see this little-known region on our wine tour from Florence to three Chianti wineries.
Book the Chianti winery tour here.
Here’s the secret about Chianti Rufina. Even though you may not have heard of it, this region produces some of the best quality wines in Chianti.
Located just northeast of Florence, Chianti Rufina is one of the smallest wine sub- zones. It’s nestled in the foothills of the Apennine Mountains, which run the length of Italy. Given the higher altitude, the vineyards are cooled by mountain breezes. This leads to wines that are elegant with a delicate bouquet.
As a quiet corner of Tuscany, Chianti Rufina retains its authentic old-world charm. You can experience this on our private wine tasting tour from Florence to Chianti Rufina.
We’ll visit two boutique wineries and enjoy a traditional Tuscan lunch (with wine!).
Book your Chianti Rufina tour here.
Chianti Montalbano and Carmignano
Another small and non-touristy wine region, Chianti Montalbano is in the hills to the northwest of Florence. The sandstone in these hills creates a light, fruity wine.
Surprisingly, you’ll find more intense Sangiovese/Cabernet blends just next door in the Carmignano area.
Imagine yourself tasting wines from both regions in a 15 th -century villa that once belonged to the Medici family. The villa, called “La Ferdinanda”, is now a World Heritage UNESCO site. It’s also known as the “Villa of a hundred chimneys” because of the many fireplaces needed to heat the large estate. Join us on a private tour to two wineries, which were both Medici villas, in the Montalbano/Carmignano region.
Book the Medici Villas wine tour here.
Cheers to unique and unforgettable experiences on your visit to Chianti!