top of page


Adorable Chick

ITALY, GREECE & MONTENEGRO Diary : Day 4 - 05th May 2018

The Verdant Chianti region (pronounced KYANTHI) is a part of Central Tuscany stretching between Florence city and Sienna. Known for its wine production, its richly grown vineyards and olive trees carpet the flowing hilly landscapes, covering a vast area. The History of wine production here, almost dates back to the 13th century. Chianti initially occupied only a small piece of land. With the increasing popularity of its wines globally, the neighbouring villages insisted on their inclusion into the region. As a result, there was not only a steady expansion in area, but also production of various types of wine.

A winery visit in this region came as our third stop for the day with MYTOURS ( read SAN GIMIGNANO & MONTERIGGIONI ). Crossing the luscious vineyards, we reached the POGGIO AI LAGHI, that lies almost in central Tuscany. It is of one of the three vineyards owned by the MAZZARINI family. The winery building here occupies a very small area. The surrounding grape land was proof enough of its popularity. The courtyard of the winery welcomed us with lemon trees and other green plants neatly planted on either sides. Beautiful bulbs of these yellow fruits popped between the plants, creating a befitting colour combination. Breathing the aroma of the lemons that blended itself with perfectly pure air, we walked around the courtyard taking a few pictures.

At the request of our guide, the tour group gathered around. He introduced us to another guide from the winery. To begin with, a session on wine produced in the surrounding farm, captured our interest. Though the explanation was in great detail and lasted for more than 10 minutes, I was able to capture an interesting bit of it, which I have enclosed in the gallery. We also found a century old cart standing in one corner. It was fascinating to note that it was the initial vehicle used in ferrying olives & grapes from the vineyards to the winery. Today it serves as a museum piece, retained to cherish old times.

Tidy Desk

The guide explained that the Chianti region, earlier known for its white wine composition, today is famous for production of exquisite red wine. The session was followed by a visit to the winery.

Spilt into two floors with the processing happening on the lower floor and the tasting happening on the upper, the guide went ahead with his explanations at every point.

Wooden barrels, filled with various types of wine lay neatly stacked one on top of the other. Placed in either corners were large sized, steel fermentation vessels. The guide explained to us about how this family owned business came into lime light. The wine brand- FAMIGLIA MAZZARRINI, was the dream work of an oenologist Marco Mazzarrini. Following his passion and technical expertise, he developed the entire wine making system in his own farm, ensuring perfection in every single process, right from the farm to the bottle. Initially, his labourers consisted of four of his own family members, with an addition of just 9 more later. His belief in quality than quantity coupled with hard work bore fruits.

The prestigious family brand rose to prominence due to this promise of supplying genuine, DOCG (highest quality) wine. Today they own 3 estates producing variety wines and also olive oil.

It was time for lunch. The tour ticket included a lunch in the winery with a choice of vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. Obviously, we stuck with vegetarian. We were led to a hall displaying two longish tables surrounded by chairs & decorated with cutlery , enough to seat 20 odd people on each table. The room was private and booked exclusively for the tour group. People took their seats. We found friendly neighbours and travellers across the world, seated next to us. Interesting conversations kick started. The guide joined us with his next set of information. A card listing names of various wines was provided. A few of those which were tick marked, were the ones offered for free tasting at lunch. Trays of yummy cheese and other items soon appeared before the hungry souls, followed by the choicest wines.

The guide explained the nature of each type of wine. It was traditional to pair different wines with different kinds of cheese/ food. The main course had some yummy pasta. The lunch was rounded up with little lemon tarts and other yummy desserts baked in the farm. The impressive lunch was followed by a visit to their store that displayed various wines, olive oil, cheese and other by-products. These kept the group engrossed. To me the shop looked like a cosmetics hub that was aesthetically maintained. The sight of attractively bottled, varieties of wine, neatly labelled and stacked in shelfs, ensured many orders. The shop was even willing to ship the bottles back home, for a price. At the end of the tour many happy customers proudly owned bottles.

We hopped back onto the bus and made way to our next destination for the day . For further story read SIENNA.