Feb 9, 2011

Brolio - castle in the heart of Chianti region

It was total coincidence for us to find ourselves there. Wandering by car through winding roads of Chianti region, stopping at the local vineyards to take pictures, go just south... we came across a sign showing direction to Brolio. With promising icon of castle.

It was a sunny, hot June day and since morning we managed to see Greve in Chianti (nice little town with cute town square) and Radda in Chianti (totally charming little hemlet of the hilltop - a must see!). By noon we made it all the way down towards San Regolo and to the Brolio Castle.

Now, the castle itself is an impressive medieval fortress, very well preserved, dating back to Longobards (XII century). It's surely a pleasure to go through, especially if you want to hide from heat (Chapel is cool and charming). However, the greatest asset of this magical place lies outside of walls - vast vineyards covering the hill are one of the most spectacular wine views we saw in whole Tuscany. As the sandy road (not on every map) from the castle goes down, one is suddenly overwhelmed by quiet, rural landscape of old villas, vines and characteristic rows of scattered trees on horizon. Heaven.

Not surprisingly, Castello di Brolio is one of the best wine labels in Chianti region with such varieties like Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon ripening on the stony, southern hills. In the area you will find Barone Ricasoli wine shop, great restaurant "Osteria di Castello" and even a guesthouse in a restored villa (550 euros for 2 people for 2 night all inclusive stay). Otherwise (money-wise :)) there is a camping in the area and two hostels with great reviews The Heart of Tuscany hostel and Backpackers Poggio Gavingnano.

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