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10

apr
2013

In Senza categoria

A day in the Chianti region: Vignamaggio.

On 10, apr 2013 | | In Senza categoria

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Last Easter Monday I made the most of the bank holiday to better know a wonderful area in the district of Florence: in Greve in Chianti, right in the heart of the Chianti Classico region, there’s the overwhelming Villa Vignamaggio .

Passing through Greve in Chianti and going towards Panzano, I reached a crossroad with the indications for Vignamaggio. After some gentle curves, winding as a ribbon among the rounded Chianti hills, I arrived at Vignamaggio.  I willingly climbed the short street framed with cypresses leading to the villa, in order to discover this incredible estate made of the a harmonious jigsaw puzzle of the villa, the vineyards, the olive-groves , the Italian garden and the wood.

The villa, around whom everything was then established, has very ancient origins: the original core dates back to the XIV century. Till the first half of the 1800s it belonged to the Gherardini family which, among its most famous members, has Monna Lisa Gherardini, who became famous as the Leonardo da Vinci’s Monnalisa or Gioconda. Later the villa belonged to the Castelbarco Albani Sanminiatelli family. Since 1988 the owner is Gianni Nunziante.

The villa has the typical look of the a Tuscan manor house: it’s covered with  a reddish layer and it has massive doors framed by solid stones (bugnato); it stands on a system of strong buttresses  safely keeping it on the hill top. Its shape is rectangular: at its centre there’s a courtyard, while the two long sides,  looking west and eastward, face huge open spaces. The west face looks towards a fenced lawn, almost invisible from below; the east one faces the Italian garden with the short and geometric flowerbeds, the green arches through which you can reach the Pomario, the secret garden. Everything is surrounded by vineyards and olive- groves.

Today the villa is the centre of the farm, where they produce a superb Chianti Classico. I recommend to follow a guided wine tasting tour to the cellars, to appreciate the d.o.c.g wines, riserva, vinsanto and grappa. It’s worthy staying for a culinary stop: the restaurant, well-groomed but not formal, offers dishes of traditional inspiration: I enjoyed the salumi and cheese starters, the flans; the chestnut flour crespelle dressed with burrata cheese and spinaches, the stracotto in Chianti wine or the stuffed rabbit; not to mention the desserts, as the gorgeous tiramisu and the chocolate cake.

All this can be really enjoyed even thanks to the kindness of the staff: Sandro and Giovanna’s courtesy and competency, Rahamani’s helpfulness. They all were really friendly with Ettore, my poodle, gently giving him a refreshing cup of water; you know, he doesn’t like wine!!

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