Castello di Volpaia was built in the 11th century as a fortified village. Only a part of the original protective walls and two of its six towers are still standing, yet it remains one of the best preserved villages of its time. One of the village's most famous families, taking the name from the village itself, was scientific instrument makers. Their instruments are on display at the Science Museum in Florence.
Throughout the centuries, the families who owned the village have dedicated themselves to the arts and wine making. Even today, the village plays an essential role in wine production. The interiors of its ancient houses, churches and underground passages have been discreetly converted into wine cellars. In fact, visitors can take a guided tour of the castle cellars starting from the sacristy and ending up in the cellars of various churches. After the tour, a tasting of wine and other local products is served. Tours are by reservation only.
The wineshop is located in what was the principal tower of the castle. Upon entering and passing through a narrow corridor and ancient staircases, you can taste and purchase the wines, honey, vinegars and olive oil of Castello di Volpaia.
The road to Vopaia climbs the side of a hill through beautiful vineyards, exposing breathtaking scenery of the Chianti valley. From Florence, the drive is about one hour. Time your visit so that you can enjoy lunch or dinner at the neighboring (and one of my favorite) trattoria, La Bottega.
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