An enchanting realm is to be found just to the east of Florence where two wines Chianti Rufina DOC and Chianti Pomino DOC are produced that have distinctive personality and characteristics and that have both been popular for centuries. The sublime Tuscan civilisation was born among these hills stretching towards the Appenines in a landscape studded with towers, ancient stables, sixteenth century villas and Romanesque churches.
It was here that Giotto lived out his adolescence and the great Florentine families built their villas and castles; it was here that Christianity in Tuscany had its major places of worship. The Chianti Rufina and Pomina Wine Trail, to which sixteen wineries and numerous restaurants, farm guesthouses, craftsmen and service agencies belong, was established in this landscape which is still waiting to be fully discovered. The Trail offers visits to wineries and other attractions in a fairly contained area of five Comuni: Pontassieve, Pelago, Rufina, Londa and Dicomano. One of the most interesting aspect of this Trail is that it is extremely close to Florence, making even brief day trips feasible. The route can be adapted to take in some of the most breathtaking churches and castles in Tuscany, to suit all timetables and tastes. The Trail Travel Agency has created packages to satisfy all needs, ranging from tours of a few hours to a few weeks. What makes the Trail so exciting is the sheer diversity to be found in the sixteen vineyards along the way. There are medieval manor houses with underground cellars, ancient fortalices transformed into elegant country residences and gorgeous Renaissance villas which dominate the hills around them.
Each vineyard offers different possibilities and together they tell the story of this fantastic area and the families who have cultivated it for centuries. Another feature of the Trail is that all the wine-growers are natives of this region, with their roots firmly planted in its traditions. Thus, in talking to these producers, the tourist can have contact with people who have lived the local history and have a profound knowledge of the customs and traditions of this magic place. However, the area is not just famous for its wines, but also for its amazing gastronomic tradition. The restaurants on the Trail bear witness to the toils of housewives of the past who spent most of their day cooking. Ancient flavours and recipes are reworked in the light of modern day tastes and requirements.
Salamis and cheeses, soups, home-made pasta, steaks from the nearby Mugello cattle, stew cooked in Chianti Rufina, followed by local desserts can be enjoyed. Wine is not the only obsession here, yet the vine is king here! Vineyards are to be found surrounded by impenetrable woods, olive groves and cypresses that follow the gentle curves of the hills, or towers and campaniles that soar skyward. Art and nature, wine and gastronomy, sport and entertainment, these and more await the tourist lucky enough to embark on the Chianti Rufina and Pomino Wine Trail.