When driving through Tuscany, tourists will often come across signposts marked as “strade del vino” or What does this term mean and how did it come about?
We need to go back a bit into time to find out. Wine has always represented the most important drink in Tuscany, from ancient times. The Etruscans are thought to have been the first to produce wine, though it as more like our red vinegar, and which by Roman times became sweeter and more pleasant in taste.
After a long period of silence, wine thrust itself into the limelight again in the 19th century, when some of the important wine producing families started cultivating vineyards on the sun-bathed and beautiful Tuscan hillsides. Our winery start its activity at the start of 19th century.
Over the years the wine producers gradually managed to improve their produce more and more, to then started to export it so that it could also be appreciated abroad. As practically everyone now knows, the red Tuscan wines are quoted as being the finest wines in the world, though we should not forget that, above all in the last decades, the white wines that have begun to make their name.
Tuscany can offer a range of wines that includes 24 D.O.C. wines and 5 D.O.C.G. wines (as well as the Vernaccia and the world famous and highly prized Brunello of Montalcino). Apart from the Chianti, one of Italy’s best known wines, new wines and grapes are now being produced thus allowing Tuscany to compete with other wines produced elsewhere in the world.
14 wine routes are at present recognised in Tuscany as stated in the Regional Law 69 (1996): these itineraries follow routes characterised by the wine produced in a particular type of vineyard and by the local farms and cellars, open to the public, that produce it. A wine route, as prescribed by the Regional Law, is an “itinerary characterised by natural, cultural and historic attractions”.
With the aim of creating a homogenous and qualified wine tourism structure, the Law has laid down a series of guiding rules and standards that every wine route must possess to be entitled to earn this name. Each wine itinerary, to be found in all the provinces of Tuscany, is marked with special road signs indicating the towns and places of interest en route, like, for example, the Museums of Vines and Wine.
“…and yet I believe that a great deal of happiness comes to men who are born in places where good wine is to be found.”
Leonardo da Vinci wrote these words, alluding to places like his hometown, where the earth produces genuine and natural products, as well as good company.
The tourist can enjoy a taste of this happiness by drinking a glass of good wine in our winery or in some other wineries within the route.
Our farm is on the way of Strade del vino Terre di Arezzo. From our winery you can start several trips to visit the other wineries within the route.
WINE ROAD “TERRE DI AREZZO”
– 200 km through the Tuscan countryside
– over 120 members (wine-cellars, restaurants, farm houses, etc.)
– 8 wines with Denominazione d’Origine (mark guaranteeing the high quality of a wine): Chianti DOCG, Chianti Colli Aretini DOCG, Colli d’Etruria Centrale DOC, Valdichiana DOC, Cortona DOC, Valdarno di Sopra DOC, Vinsanto del Chianti DOC e Vinsanto del Chianti dei Colli Aretini DOC
In the Tuscan countryside among olive groves and gentle slopes, you can enjoy a route winding through wine-cellars and places where it is possible to taste food and wine. This land is rich in art and history, from Etruscans to medieval villages, from events with people dressed up as they ancestors did, to traditional handicrafts.
THE WINE ROADS
The “Wine Roads” are routes characterised by natural, cultural and historical beauties as well as by vineyards and wineries, both reunited in association or alone, open to the public. They are promoted and regulated by a law issued by Regione Toscana (R.L. August 13 1996, nr. 69 and R.L. August 5 2003 nr. 45, art. 2).
WINE ROAD “TERRE DI AREZZO”
The Wine Road “Terre di Arezzo” is a way to develop the culture of quality and hospitality. It is a non-profit association established in May 2000 with the aim of promoting and creating events to improve the association, of informing and giving help to members, of informing and training people in order to preserve oenological, gastronomic, historical and natural peculiarities characterising the Wine Road. Furthermore Wine Road “Terre di Arezzo” organizes and coordinates the estates promotion, even that carried out by single members and specifies quality standards common to all members.
Up to now the association has about 120 members: wine-making estates, both alone and reunited in consortiums, farm houses, estates of traditional products, wine-bars, restaurants, receptive facilities, handicrafts estates, cultural associations, the Chamber of Commerce, the Province of Arezzo and the 20 municipalities which belong to the province: Arezzo, Bucine, Cavriglia, Capolona, Castelfranco di Sopra, Castiglion Fibocchi, Castiglion Fiorentino, Civitella in Val di Chiana, Cortona, Foiano della Chiana, Laterina, Loro Ciuffenna, Lucignano, Marciano della Chiana, Monte San Savino, Montevarchi, Pergine V.no, San Giovanni V.no, Subbiano, Terranuova B.ni.
OUR LANDSCAPE, HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL HERITAGE
Besides the typical Tuscan countryside abounding in vineyards, olive groves, tobacco cultivations, chestnut woods and woods, artistic and archaeological beauties can be admired along the route. The wine perfume is the main guide, but at the same time there will occur some pleasant changes: museums, artistic or folkloristic programmes, appointments with nature and visits to different estates.
The Wine Road “Terre di Arezzo” go across the Valdarno, a valley characterized by an unbelievable variety of landscapes: from one side vines in rows on terraces sustained by dry walls, villages and castles which, on the other side, are in sharp contrast with lunar landscapes of holes and excavations deriving from open-cast mines. Along the journey, reaching the heart of Valdambra, ancient abbeys and fortified villages are set on the hills covered by centennial olive groves.
Then the Wine Road winds towards the Valdichiana, scene of gorgeous views, rich in artistic beauties. It is a travel through time which goes back to the dawn of civilization with the Etruscan culture and the Renaissance pictorial masterpieces. It is a landscape of vineyards and olive groves, among the leopoldine houses which tell old stories about this valley, reclaimed by Grand Duke Leopoldo.
And now here is Arezzo. This medieval town, surrounded by hills where vineyards and olive groves are grown, rises in the heart of four valleys which are rich in history and culture and furthermore it has got food and agricultural products of first rate quality. It is worth mentioning the famous Antiques Fair which is held monthly along the street in the historical centre. In town there are plenty of artistic monuments where Piero della Francesca, Giorgio Vasari and Andrea della Robbia’s masterpieces can be admired, just to mention some.
From Arezzo towards the Casentino following the river Arno towards North. At first the course of the valley is sinuous, then it opens into a perfect amphitheatre-like shape, only moved by slopes which ends up to the age-old forests covering the mountains in the North: the National Park of Casentino Forests.
Leaving Arezzo and proceeding along Strada Provinciale Setteponti the bottom of Pratomagno is reached. The beautiful terraced vineyards are an example of perfect harmony between man and nature. Along the route charming medieval villages and Romanesque parish churches can be admired.
During this journey there is not only the chance to appreciate Arezzo wines, but also its gastronomy, its welcoming people with their warm hospitality, its traditions, its nature and its art. The high quality of life in TERRE DI AREZZO stands undoubtedly out.
The Wine Road “Terre di Arezzo” has produced high quality wines since ever and the eight Denominazioni di Origine Controllate are an important example of it. Red wines have always been the most appreciated ones, but also the white ones are a great expression of the soil, the sun and the passion of those who, for generations, have grown vine and have produced wines with the utmost care.
The wines have different typologies and characteristics:
Chianti Colli Aretini DOCG (DOC in 1967, DOCG in 1984)
Vinsanto del Chianti dei Colli Aretini Occhio di Pernice DOC
Valdichiana DOC (originally Bianco Vergine della Valdichiana DOC in 1970, modified to Valdichiana for a range of wines in 1999).
Cortona DOC (new appellation in 1999 for a range of varietal wines and Vinsanto)
Valdarno di Sopra DOC (a new appellation approved in 2011 for a range of varietal wines and both native and allochtonous vines).
Colli dell’Etruria Centrale
Vinsanto del Chianti
The recent increase of prestige in Arezzo’s Territory is perhaps more to be adduced in red wines that have not yet been classified to those DOC, although the quality is significantly improved in all categories.
Many producers in the province of Arezzo make alternative wines, some covered under the IGT Toscana or Colli della Toscana Centrale. At the top of the list are the red “Super Tuscans” which may be made from the native Sangiovese or from such prestigious foreign varieties as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Nero and Syrah –alone or in blends. Cellars in the zone may also produce wines covered by Colli dell’Etruria Centrale DOC (Bianco, Rosato, Rosso or Vermiglio and Vinsanto).
THE CLUB “AMICI DELLA STRADA DEL VINO”
The Club “Amici della Strada del Vino” (The Wine Road’s Friends) is conceived for all those people who are interested in and share the same spirit characterising the Wine Road “Terre di Arezzo”. For its “Friends” the office organizes wine and food tastings, guided tours to cellars, wine and food meetings. Furthermore members have the possibility to participate to the most important national events about wine.
Up to now the office have contacted all the people who attended the basic courses on wine tasting organized by the Wine Road and the answer has been really enthusiastic.
It is easy to become a member: write an e-mail to the office with your first name, surname, address, phone number and e-mail address. The office will contact you to complete the registration.
Opportunities offered by the Club
With their membership card the “Amici della Strada del Vino” can avail themselves of special offers in restaurants, shops and wine-bars belonging to the association. They have easy terms in all the events organised by the Wine Road and buses are organized for them on occasion of great national wine fairs (i.e. Vinitaly).
THE WINE ROAD MAP
The map of Wine Road Terre di Arezzo is an useful instrument to visit the territory following our ideal tour through the country and wine & food beauties of Terre di Arezzo. You can dawnload here (pdf version) or ask us to send it by mail.
The mark of Wine Road “Terre di Arezzo”, by an idea of Sergio Bianco, a well-known creator of trade-marks, shows the deep and tight bond with the cultural roots, the landscape and the nature of the Aretine area.
The wheel, an element of remarkable importance in our civilization, expresses the idea of the journey.
The outline of a glass stands out in the heart of the wheel. The upper part of the glass, repeated in the wheel, reminds us of a shield as a symbol of union and defence. The circular shape recalls the concept of the table as the holy place where people gather and meet each other.
Partners and Link
Taste Road of Casentino
Wine Road Terre di Arezzo and Taste Road of Casentino share the same purpose concerning the promotion of products and traditions peculiar to this area. The valley of Casentino is the natural gateway to Florence.
Taste Road of Valtiberina Toscana
Together with the Taste Road of Casentino, the Taste Road of Valtiberina as well is part of this alliance which makes further improvements to the territory and the produce of excellence. Valtiberina (the Tiber Valley) is in the most Eastern part of the province of Arezzo and leads to the last extensions of Tuscany into Umbria.
The Wine Road Terre di Arezzo
For any question, curiosity or information that you may need do not hesitate to contact us. Our staff, Lucia, Sorana and Alessandra, will be glad to help you.
From Monday to Friday, 9.30a.m.-3.00p.m. at InfoPoint, Via Ricasoli 38/40 – Arezzo.
You can also fax, phone or e-mail.
Tel. / Fax (+39) 0575 294066
Per gli amanti del vino la nostra cantina ed il nostro agriturismo possono essere la base ideale da dove partire in un viaggio alla scoperta dei produttori di vini di alta qualità includendo oltre ai noti produttori di Montepulciano e Montalcino e Chianti anche altri produttori meno conosciuti al mercato di massa ma molto apprezzati dagli amanti delle eccellenze.
La nostra cantina è sul percorso delle strade del vino d’Arezzo un’associazione senza fini di lucro, costituitasi nel maggio 2000.
Per maggiori informazioni potete scaricare:
Ad oggi l’Associazione conta circa 180 associati tra cui: aziende vitivinicole, singole o associate, aziende agrituristiche, aziende specializzate in produzioni tradizionali, enoteche, ristoranti, imprese turistico-ricettive, imprese artigiane, associazioni operanti nel campo culturale, la Camera di Commercio Industria Agricoltura e Artigianato, la Provincia di Arezzo ed i 19 comuni che compongono la provincia: Arezzo, Bucine, Cavriglia, Capolona, Castelfranco di Sopra, Castiglion Fibocchi, Castiglion Fiorentino, Civitella in Val di Chiana, Cortona, Foiano della Chiana, Laterina, Loro Ciuffenna, Lucignano, Marciano della Chiana, Monte San Savino, Montevarchi, Pergine V.no, San Giovanni V.no, Subbiano, Terranuova B.ni.