Visiting Greve in Chianti
The day started with a Skype chat to Glenda’s mother in Australia. It’s wonderful to be able to chat so easily from the other side of the world! It was good to speak to her as she landed back in hospital the following day with an infection following her surgery just before we left. After a home cooked breakfast of scrambled, eggs and bresaola (air dried beef), a change from our morning ricotta brioche, we headed down south into Chianti.
Before heading to Greve, we took a brief detour up the hill nearby to Montefioralle, a beautifully preserved / restored fortified village. http://www.montefioralle.info/
Our first macchiato of the day was in a bar in the main square of Greve. When asking what coffee someone else had ordered, Glenda was duly corrected by the barista and told in no certain terms that “it’s not coffee……cappuccino!
A 15 minute hilly drive east of Greve, took us to the Castello di Querceto. With one family from the Netherlands already there when we arrived, we were able to join them for a tour of the castle grounds and a walk along the turrets. We discovered that the castle used to be the summer residence of the Pitti family – the Pitti Palace having been one of the first places we visited during our previous visit to Florence. The castle is owned and occupied by the Francois family of French origin. That’s what one would call living the dream! http://www.castellodiquerceto.it/.
Our plan to visit Villa Vignamaggio, an old wine estate, was thwarted soon after passing through Panzano. A couple of km along a dirt road, huge dark clouds started to head towards us. This led to a rather quick turnaround. Good decision! By the time we arrived at our lunch destination, it was pitch black as night. Thunder and lightning rolled in and the hail battered our little car. We didn’t dare get out until the rain stopped – just in time for our 2pm lunch booking. The next 2.5 hours were spent relaxing over an awesome lunch and wine at Vitique in Greti.
One of the highlights of our trip so far was a visit to Terra di Baccio, a family run country estate and small winery south of Greve. (http://www.terredibaccio.com/?lang=en) We visited here for a private tasting when last in Florence. We had been in touch with Ilaria beforehand, and she gave us the most warm welcome. We joined her guests in a tasting in their awesome cellar and were made to feel so special. I’d recommend this place to anyone visiting the area!
A brief stop in the main square of Greve to visit the night market brought the memorable day to a lovely close.