Chianti (area)

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Map of the Chianti area

The Chianti area [ ˈkjantigəˌbiːt ], also called Colline del Chianti (Chianti hills) or Monti del Chianti (Chianti mountains), is a chain of hills (mountain range) in the center of Tuscany , where Chianti wine has been produced for centuries . The wine-growing area makes up about a third of all of Tuscany.


The core area of ​​the range of hills is divided into the areas of Chianti fiorentino and Chianti senese . The Fiorentine part is located on the southeastern edge of the metropolitan city of Florence and includes the communities of Barberino Val d'Elsa , Greve in Chianti , San Casciano in Val di Pesa and Tavarnelle Val di Pesa . The Senese part is located in the northeast of the province of Siena and includes Castellina in Chianti , Castelnuovo Berardenga , Gaiole in Chianti , Poggibonsi and Radda in Chianti . The so-called Chianti aretino is the western part of the Arezzo province between Arno and Chianti and does not belong to the core area. The parishes of Cavriglia , Bucine , Pergine Valdarno , Montevarchi and San Giovanni Valdarno belong to it. Geographically, these are located in the western Valdarno (Arno valley).

The Chianti region comprises parts of the Elsa Valley (Val d'Elsa) and the Pesa Valley (Val di Pesa) to the west, the Greve Valley (Val di Greve) to the north, and parts of the Arno Valley (Valdarno) and the Ambratal Valley (Val d ' Ambra or Valdambra). In the southeast the Chianti borders on the Crete Senesi , in the southwest on the Montagnola Senese .

The rivers or Torrenti Ambra , Arbia , Bozzone , Greve , Ombrone , Pesa and Staggia have their source in the hills of Chianti . In addition, the Elsa from the south and the Montagnola Senese flow through the area in the west , which partially borders the Arno in the north and north-east .

The highest point in the Chianti area is Monte San Michele , which is located in the municipality of Greve in Chianti. It reaches a height of 893 meters.


The area was first settled by the Etruscans and then by the Romans . Both cultures left a lot of traces - also when it comes to viticulture. The area was first documented as Clanti in the 8th century. In the Middle Ages, Florence and Siena fought for supremacy in this area. The name "Chianti" (Lega del Chianti) originally stood for a military alliance of the cities of Radda, Castellina and Gaiole, which emerged in the 13th century. Later the name was extended to ever larger areas. Villages and monasteries, castles and fortresses were built during this time, which were later converted into estates and villas when it became more peaceful again. During this time extensive forest clearing took place in order to create olive groves and vineyards. These changes brought economic success and international fame to the region.

Entire Chianti area (viticulture)

Vineyards near Radda

The entire Chianti area stretches from Pisa (in the northwest) to Montalcino (in the southeast) and is officially divided into nine sub-areas:

  • Chianti Classico (see below)
  • Chianti Rufina (around Pontassieve)
  • Chianti Colline Pisane (around Pisa )
  • Chianti Montalbano (around Carmignano)
  • Chianti Colli Fiorentini (around Florence )
  • Chianti Colli Senesi (around Siena )
  • Chianti Aretini (around Arezzo )
  • Chianti Montespertoli

Viticulture in the Chianti Classico area

It is bounded to the north by the suburbs of Florence, to the east by the Chianti Mountains, to the south by Siena and to the west by the valleys of the Pesa and Elsa rivers. It is the heart of the Chianti region. A 70 km long wine route (the " Via Chiantigiana ", SS 222) connects the two large cities and leads through a great cultural landscape. Many well-known wine towns are lined up along the road like a pearl necklace. Only a tenth of the very wooded area (around 70,000 hectares in total  ) is used for viticulture. The Gallo Nero (= "Black Rooster") is the hallmark of Chianti Classico wines. The Consorzio del Marchio Storico Chianti Classico ensures compliance with the rules for good Chianti.

Well-known wine towns and sights (of the Chianti Classico area)

Viticulture in Chianti
Montefioralle (Greve in Chianti) and the Chianti fiorentino hills
The Chianti hills in September
Chianti hills near Florence
  • Barberino Val d'Elsa:
    • Tignano is a very interesting village with a small castle and a view of Barberino and Tavanelle Val d'Elsa
    • Linari is a district of Barberino Val d'Elsa with a castle that is still being restored
  • Castellina in Chianti:
    • Worth seeing: the fortress of the Palazzo Ugolino and the necropolis of an Etruscan barrow on Monte Calvario
    • Castello di Fonterutoli , already known in the 12th century. Today owns a winery
    • Castello di Grignano, a castle mentioned in the 11th century
    • Castello di Monternano
    • Castello di Rencine, already mentioned in the 11th century, which was destroyed by Siena in the conflict with Florence on July 23, 1478. The nearby Villa di Rencine is now a winery
  • Castelnuovo Berardenga:
    • One of the oldest wineries in this area can be found in the district of Vagliagli : As early as 1090, the first winemakers received lease land from the monastery of La Certosa di Pievescola
    • Castell'in Villa, today's winery
    • Castello di Aiola, today's winery
    • Castello di Montalto in Chianti (also called Montalto Palmieri ), castle built in the 12th century
    • Castello di Orgiale, documented castle at the beginning of the 13th century
    • Castello di Selvole, castle built in the 11th century. Today's winery
    • Certosa di Pontignano, now owned by the University of Siena
    • Monteaperti , district and site of the battle of Montaperti
    • Parco Sculture del Chianti
    • Quercegrossa (district)
    • San Gusmè (district)
  • Gaiole in Chianti:
    • Badia a Coltibuono , former monastery and today's winery
    • Castello di Barbischio (district)
    • Castello di Brolio (Ricasoli family seat and winery)
    • Castello di Cacchiano, a castle built by the Ricasoli in the 11th century, today's winery
    • Castello di Castagnoli, first mentioned in 1098 and today's winery
    • Castello di Monteluco a Lecchi ( Lecchi in Chianti ), documented castle as early as 998
    • Castello di Lucignano, a castle mentioned in the 10th century
    • Castello di Meleto, a castle built at the beginning of the 11th century that is now a winery
    • Castello di Montegrossi (also called Montegrossoli ). Castle first destroyed by Florence in 1172. After reconstruction in 1530 it was attacked and destroyed by Charles V. Today's castle ruins.
    • Castello di San Donato in Perano, castle from the 11th century. Was owned by the Strozzi from 1500 to 1967 . Today's winery.
    • Castello di San Giusto alle Monache (now called Castello di Rentennano ), former monastery and from 1390 the Ricasoli castle.
    • Castello di San Polo in Rosso, Pieve documented as early as 1070, which was later fortified. Today's winery.
    • Castello di Klassenna, former monastery from the 12th century.
    • Castello di Tornano , first documented on June 4, 1203. Today hotel and winery.
    • Castello di Vertine, a castle built around 977, was later owned by the Ricasoli
  • Greve in Chianti:
    • One of the capitals of the Chianti area since the 13th century. Favorable location at the intersection of two roads: the north-south connection from Florence to Siena and the east-west connection between the Val d'Arno and the Val d'Elsa. Wine fair with presentation of the new Chianti in mid-September on the Piazza Matteotti (Rassegna del Chianti Classico). This square is triangular and surrounded by beautiful arcades where you can find shops and cafes / restaurants.
    • Montefioralle (district)
    • Montegonzi (municipality of Cavriglia): If you follow a small hiking trail directly from Piazza Mateotti in Greve in Chianti, you will reach the predecessor settlement of Greve in Chianti. Unfortunately, there is only one house left, the beautiful, untouched nature makes up for it.
    • Convertoie: About halfway to the district of Dudda in Chianti, you can hike down a small path with a beautiful panorama. (see picture way to Convertoie)
  • Poggibonsi:
  • Radda in Chianti
    • The piazza with the town hall, loggias and fountain is one of the most atmospheric squares in Chianti. Radda is an ideal starting point for wine lovers, as it is centrally located in the heart of the Chianti classico and the most famous wineries can be easily reached from here. The historical brand of Chianti Classico wine ( gallo nero ) was also developed in Radda and the winegrowers' association was founded in the 19th century. The many small towns in the municipality are also worth seeing.
    • Castello di Albola, also Castello d'Albola, place mentioned in writing on June 8, 1010. The castle dates from the 12th century. Today's winery.
    • Castello di Monterinaldi, of Etruscan origin, later Guidi castle . Today's winery.
    • Castello di Volpaia
  • San Casciano in Val di Pesa still has a preserved city wall.
    • Mercatale in Val di Pesa near San Casciano in Val di Pesa is a small town with a medieval square.
    • The Villa Poggio Torselli is located just before San Casciano in Val di Pesa and has a large avenue of cypress trees and is well worth seeing.
    • Le Corti, a castle on a hill, has a large park. You can reach this castle by taking the road to Mercatale.
    • La via Collina (hill road): Via Collina begins on the main road to Poggibonsi with the Castello di Bibbione and leads to Montefiridolfi. You can especially enjoy the view on foot.
    • Montepaldi: The hike from Montepaldi also leads through beautiful scenery. Before you pass San Martino.
  • Tavarnelle Val di Pesa:
    • Badia a Passignano, also called Abbazia di San Michele Arcangelo a Passignano , monastery from the 11th century.
    • Sambuca Val di Pesa: Historic town center on the Pesa river.


Web links

Commons : Chianti  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Chianti  - Explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
  • Chianti in Enciclopedie on line Treccani

Individual evidence

  1. not to be confused with the Val d'Arno, the Arno valley between Florence and Pisa
  2. a b TCI: Toscana
  3. ^ Enciclopedie on line