Ask anyone about Tuscany and they will think of a brilliant countryside with winding roads, fairytale castles, and ancient monasteries, but no doubt it is the wine that lures visitors from all over the world.  The vineyards and olive groves are commonplace, as one would expect, and it is impossible to trip without falling into, yet another, winery. fullsizeoutput_346d

Radda in Chianti is at the center stage. It is in the heart of Chianti Classico region with this viticultural area covering the land between Florence and Siena. And while famous for their wines and the necessary Sangiovese grapes  to make them, the wineries also bring an elegance and romanticism to this beautiful culture, and it’s guests. 

Now what if I told you one of the best kept secrets in the Chianti Classico region is actually off the beaten path…just a bit?     fullsizeoutput_3473

Fattoria di Montemaggio  is an organic, boutique winery on the “big mountain” of Radda.  Signs directed us through the forested tunnels and brought us to the entrance gate of the estate, where they were expecting us. The welcome was warm, personal, and generated immediate friendship. 

Ilaria, the Agronomist and Director of Montemaggio began our visit on the rooftop of the winery and it is here we learned about the region and the significance of Sangiovese grapes for the Chinati Classico wine. fullsizeoutput_3467

We also learned everything has a purpose on an organic winery including the rose bushes.  Personally, I thought they were planted for aesthetics when in actuality they are to educate the staff about the health of the nearby vines.fullsizeoutput_34e4

Tastings and parings in the garden patio were perfect compliments to the four course meal that they insisted was a light lunch.  fullsizeoutput_3546

And we were delighted to learn they practice the Art of Sabrage with sparking wines.

Later, a stroll to the garden was a chance to see Hasiba, the chef who made our meal, gathering vegetables for the next guests.

I am humbled, not just by the elegance of this estate, but also by it’s staff who clearly embraces this extended family they belong to.


The heart of Chianti?

At Montemaggio it is more than wine.  It is a Tuscan hospitality that is unmatched by anywhere else we went,  it is the encouragement that we should not rush, and should enjoy the passing of time, and it is a welcome that changed from a friendship to family.  

And today… I understand it is not just the wine we bask in while in Tuscany, but also.. a people.

Wind Kisses, Donna