Written October 4, 2012
Rocca di Castagnoli is set in a 12th century fortress with views overlooking the Tuscan hills (google map), a civilized beginning to an afternoon of wine tasting in Chianti. While the barrel rooms are open to visitors there is no specific tour given. The charming hostess speaks excellent English and on a slow Wednesday poured us a generous tasting of over a dozen wines, no charge. Starting with 2 chardonnays, 3-4 each of Chianti, Chianti Classico and Super Tuscan and ending with a Vino Santo. While not inexpensive the wines are a good value for the money and considerably cheaper than the US list price.
Grape harvest in early October
Barone Ricasoli winery, below the hilltop Castello di Brolio, offers tours twice a day that were booked through the weekend when we inquired on a Wednesday. The sales office offers a tasting of 3 wines for 5 Euros. The wines are not the values of the previous winery, but still excellent wines from the oldest winery in Italy according to their website. Note that the google map shows the winery on a secondary road which is incorrect. The winery is directly off the SP484.
Tenuta di Arceno, located in the Arceno Villa Consortium down the road from San Donato, was owned by Jess Jackson of Kendall-Jackson fame, but since his death in 2011 it’s unclear who owns the winery now. Smart tasting room with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the vineyards. While a lovely setting to experience the local vino, especially if you are staying at one of the nearby villas, wines are generally more expensive for the same quality as compared to Rocca di Castagnoli.
The location for Tenuta di Arceno on the google map is a bit off. The winery is further east than indicated along the secondary white road.
56 – Rocca di Castagnoli
Directly south of 56 – Castello di Brolio. The associated winery, Barone Ricasoli, is located on the main road, SP484.
Northeast of 57 – Villa d’Arceno where you will find the Arceno winery.