Saturday 2nd June: An afternoon in Chianti. This morning was very leisurely as we had booked a tour “Castles and Chianti” for the afternoon. We were picked up by Daniel from the hotel at 2pm and, after collecting another six people, set of for the castle. This was Montiriggione, high up on a hill not far out of Siena. We were given half an hour to wander around and appreciate the view and the old citadel. As it was a public holiday, there were many people out enjoying the same and the lovely weather.
Then we drove through the very picturesque Chianti landscape past Castellina in Chianti to the first winery, Poggio Amorelli. Here we joined another small group and were ushered into a cellar room set out with glasses and platters for each of us. The young man conducting the tasting was very knowledgeable and quite amusing. The first wine was quite a discovery - a Vermentino Spumante - and we think we liked it more than Prosecco (that’s saying something!). Then we were presented with glasses of their various reds including their Chianti Classico together with olive oil and 12 and 20 year old balsamic vinegars. It was all done very professionally.
As we drove on the countryside was so beautiful but it was impossible to photograph or stop properly. Daniel did find a couple of places where we could take photographs for a couple of minutes. Then it was on to the second winery, Lornano. This one was smaller but with more atmospheric old buildings (some used for accommodation) and lovely gardens. The procedure was much the same, though. A young lady showed us their winery and cellars then took us to the tasting room where again we sampled a rose and some of their reds. The servings were not quite as generous as at the first winery which was probably just as well as we had consumed quite a bit. Here we did buy a lovely Chianti Classico “Le Bandite” as we still had a few nights in Rome to enjoy it.
From here we drove back to Siena in the early evening and it was 7pm when Daniel dropped us off. This was just in time for our pre-dinner drink with Lesley and Di from Perth and then we joined up for dinner. Having dinner included made life very easy at the end of a day even though the menu was not extensive enough to cover a week. Before turning in, we did a quick pack so we were ready to go the next morning.