Castello di Poppiano

Castello di Poppiano is a hill-top Tuscan castle that is the base for Tuscany Bike Tours.  After meeting at the bike shop in the centre of town (on Via Ghibellina), we went on a short minibus ride into Tuscany. The journey out of Florence takes you through some spectacular scenery along the Via Senese – or Siena Road – which winds itself through steep curves out of the city. To the south, the town of Galuzzo quickly gives way to a rustic rural setting with olive groves and grape vines that have been grown here for centuries.

wine and oil castello del poppianoThe castle itself has been a property of the Guicciardini family for almost nine centuries, a claim documented by an inheritance act of 1199. Here, amongst such a depth of lineage, they grow grapes for their own wines: Chianti (naturally) but also the much respected Vin Santo sweet wine. If you come away with just one purchase from a trip to Castello di Poppiano make it a bottle of Vin Santo.

The bike tour of Chianti starts with a guided trip around the castle: through the wine making facilities, the huge barrels containing hundreds of bottles of wine and rising through the tower, past the Vin Santo area and finishing with a 360 degree vista of the surrounding countryside. There’s plenty of time for photos (or video ;-) ) before heading down to the courtyard for some wine and the exceptional Extra Virgin Olive Oil that is produced locally.

Now, for an English guy, the idea of just oil on bread was a bit strange when I first arrived here. However two years on I can totally understand the concept and even flatter myself to believe that I can taste a difference between oils. And there is a difference: just a few months ago I went to an oil party where each person brought a different fresh pressing of the year’s olive oil. Putting the oil on low salt white bread allows the flavours to come through. The best part is that small taster bottles are available to buy for the lightweight traveler!

castello del poppiano




One Response to “Castello di Poppiano”

  1. cristina says:

    Yes, I know well that my land is fantastic (I was born here 46 years ago and I am “old” enough to know several things about Tuscany…) but I am very happy to see that also foreigner people like so much these sites !!! Good video: it’s amazing to bike in Chianti in this period !!

    P.s.: to English guys= Trust me: oil (this oil…) it’s better than butter….
    Buon appetito!

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