Travelling through the beautiful Tuscany countryside, our first stop was the beautiful little village of Radda, situated on a hill covered with woods and extensive vineyards forming the watershed between the Pesa and Arbia valleys.
Formerly belonging to the Guidi family, it came under Florentine control in 1203. After being fortified in 1400 it was, from 1415 onwards, head of the League of Chianti, and it preserves the remains of its ancient walls.
San Nicolò church, where the sounds of singing drifted over the peaceful silence of the village.
We wound our way through the village
Then we explored some more
until it was time to make our way to the last stop of the day the Aiola Winery, where, besides tasting their delicious wines, we also enjoyed sampling their superb olive oil, (we brought a bottle home). Built as a fortress during the local wars between the Florentine Republic and the Republic of Sienna which ended in the 17th century, the Aiola Castle went through a radical transformation. The original aspect, characterized by town walls, drawbridge, secret underground tunnels has gradually left space to an elegant manor villa during the Renaissance, although it maintained some original elements.
In 1934 Aiola was bought by Senator Giovanni Malagodi, who started bottling the Classic Chianti, with its own label since the 60s.
In 2012 the ownership passed to some Russian entrepreneurs which paved the way to an important program concerning the replanting of new vineyards and cellar refurbishment through the renovation all of equipment. Today Aiola lies at the heart of a modern farmhouse in the Classic Chianti, where vineyards, entirely surrounded by ancient holm forests, stretch across 36 hectares. The respect for the environment and its traditions, the rich experience gained during the years alongside of the deployment of cutting-edge equipment are a good recipe to keep up the brand prestige.
Please join me for Tuscany Part 4 when we visit Assisi and Perugia.