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Greve in Chianti: Castello di Verrazzano

Reviewed by: Kevin Clark from Italy, review #2102

When: 2006

This was a winery tour, wine tasting, and lunch, and all three were outstanding. There was way too much food accompanied by plenty of excellent wine.

Directions: A well-marked turn-off just north of Greve, then a kilometer or so up a gravel road to the winery.

Our day at Castello di Verrazzano was a winery tour which included a wine tasting and a full lunch. I don't know if the lunch can be booked on its own, but if not I'll take the tour again just to eat here. As an aside, this was probably the best winery tour we've taken anywhere.

The Castello sits on a lovely hilltop site and there are great views of the countryside from the dining room. We started with a tasting of three different Verrazzano wines - a red table wine, a Chianti Classico, and a Chianti Classico Riserva. These wines remained on the table for the lunch that followed along with one of the winery's "super Tuscans" and other treats.

Lunch began with platters of mixed salumi - several types of salami including cinghiale, prosciutto, etc. - and crostini with lots of olive oil and garlic. This was followed by penne with tomatoes and a spicy herb blend. Next came thinly sliced roast pork accompanied by white beans in oil and a green salad. All of this came out on huge plates to be shared around the table, and more was available on request (we did ask for more pork and salad). The wines flowed freely throughout the meal and were replaced on request (including the super Tuscan). After all this, we had slices of pecorino followed by pieces of parmigiana topped with a few drops of the estate's excellent balsamico. Dessert was cantucci with vin santo and was followed by coffee and grappa. All of this, including the tour and wine tasting was 42 per person. Virtually everything - the salumi, the pecorino, the olive oil, and of course the wine and grappa - was produced on the Verrazzano estate. Most of these were available for sale, but there was no sales pitch or pressure to buy anything.

What we expected to be a 1 to 2 hour tour turned into a 4+ hour event. We're already planning a return visit with some friends on our next visit to the area. Highly recommended!

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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