Castello di Gabbiano is a castle and estate located in the Chianti region in central Tuscany. This part of Italy is where the wine Chianti is produced (a blend of 70% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo and 15% Malvasia bianca). Staying here overnight was certainly a step up from the usual accommodation that I have when travelling, and was a very nice way to spend part of my first visit to Tuscany. It is a beautiful, majestic castle in a beautiful location.
Castello di Gabbiano is very old, with the fortified tower dating back to the 12th century. It was developed by the Soderini family over several centuries, with it taking its present form in the early 16th century. The Castle was very well located, benefiting not only from very fertile land, but also from being at a high altitude which was very advantageous when it came to ensuring that communications could be made between Florence and Siena during times of war.
Today, the 173 acre estate is primarily used to grow wine grapes and olives which are sold under the “Gabbiano” brand, with Chianti wine being by far the primary export.
Behind the Castle is an outdoor dining area. Dinner here was really tasty. All of the ingredients were fresh and local, and the dishes were relatively simple, with the natural flavours of ingredients mostly being respected.
There were a few small sculptures dotted around the grounds near the Castle which have been created by various artists over the years. There is also a small gallery to view exhibitions which occur a few times a year.
Standing outside of Castello di Gabbiano, looking over such beautiful, majestic scenery, one can’t help but feel grateful to be alive and lucky enough to experience this. The air is so fresh, and everything is so peaceful.
Sangiovese grapes make up 70% of Chianti wine and is the most widely planted red grape variety in Italy. Sangiovese based wines have a relatively high acidity, which makes them perfect for pairing with many tomato based Italian dishes.
It is very easy to see why the countryside of Tuscany is such a popular tourist destination. Indeed, one day in Chianti was all that I needed to fall in love with the place.