Any consideration of the Greve UGA begins with the hills overlooking the Greve river, both because most vineyards are concentrated on its slopes, in particular in the southern and central part, and because of its truly remarkable landscape.
As can be observed in the first two images, the Greve valley (in feminine, as it is customary to refer to this water course in Tuscany), begins with a very clear straight course, starting from the south in the area of Lamole, at the foot of Monte San Michele and Poggio Querciabella, and extending northward toward Florence.
Equally remarkable are its two slopes. The first, facing mainly east, includes part of the vineyards of the Panzano UGA and the entire area of the Montefioralle UGA, which extends as far as Colognole. The second, exposed to the west, goes from Lamole and Casole to Greti, passing by several other areas such as Ruffoli and Uzzano.
At Greti, the course of the Greve veers abruptly westward toward San Casciano Val di Pesa and at the same time, as can be seen in the third image, the landscape changes abruptly. The view becomes wider, the soils contain more clay and the hills, as a consequence, acquire gentler contours. This is the area of Chiocchio and, further north, of Strada in Chianti, which extends along the valley of the Ema stream in the direction of Florence.
Following the Ema stream toward the east, once past the Meleto area (not to be confused with the locality of the name of Gaiole in Chianti), the valley wedges between the last offshoots of the Chianti Mountains and then widens into the small basin of San Polo in Chianti, visible in the fourth image. Here vineyards are mainly concentrated on sunny slopes at the foot of Monte Masso and in the area of Rinforzati (not visible in this image) and in a more sporadic way near Poggio Citerna, and more precisely near the village of Poggio alla Croce, not visible either.
Returning now to the third image, and rotating it further to the right, we can see a second valley that from the Castello di Sezzate runs in a southeastern direction, reaching first Cintoia and then Panca and further on the area of Dudda and Lucolena. As can be seen in the fifth image, this area extends along the eastern side of the Chianti Mountains and for this reason, together with Starda, in the commune of Gaiole in Chianti, represents a true exception within the denomination.
How to use
As simple and intuitive as the use of panoramic images may be, some clarifications and suggestions seem in order.
- The expression Unità Geografica Aggiuntiva (UGA) applies to a specific and precisely delimited area within the Chianti Classico denomination. Some UGAs correspond to an entire commune, others to a portion of one, others result from the unification of parts of two communes.
- When a UGA corresponds to the area of a single commune, the name of the UGA has been shortened (San Casciano in Val di Pesa becomes simply San Casciano) or the use of the specification “in Chianti” has been avoided to avert useless repetitions on wine labels. Gaiole in Chianti becomes Gaiole, and Panzano in Chianti, which is not a commune, becomes Panzano. The names of Castelnuovo Berardenga, a commune, and San Donato in Poggio, which like Panzano is not a commune but a hamlet, remain unchanged.
- At the moment the use of UGA is foreseen only for Chianti Classico Gran Selezione wines.
- Coming now to the introductions to each UGA, the greater or lesser number of images used in the virtual tours depends on the overall shape and size of their territories. Some can be illustrated with few images and others require more detail. It follows that the different number of images in no way implies a difference in importance of one UGA with respect to another.
- To navigate between the different images within each tour, use the thumbnails below, above the command bar. To rotate the images to the right or left, drag them with the mouse or with your fingers, if you are using a phone or a tablet.
- In each image you will find names that identify geographical references and/or toponyms. Use them to orient yourself as you move from one panorama to another.
The colors used for the different names have three different functions. In white are the names of farms and villages within the Chianti Classico DOCG. In red are the names of communes, hamlets, mountains and hillocks within the same borders. In blue are the names of places located outside the territory of Chianti Classico DOCG. Some of them, such as mountains and hills, have been inserted to contextualize Chianti Classico with respect to other areas of Tuscany that many users will already know.
- The recognized UGAs within the production zone of the Chianti Classico appellation are eleven. Starting from northwest and, moving generally clockwise, they are: San Casciano, Greve, Lamole, Montefioralle, Panzano, Radda, Gaiole, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Vagliagli, Castellina and San Donato in Poggio.