I thought I’d miss the seaside when we headed inland to Chianti. But I was immediately won-over by the rolling green patchwork quilt of vineyards, olive orchards, hedges and cypress rows, and the stone walls, castles and abbeys. We’ve spent two glorious days ambling up and down through vineyards, groves and wooded oak forests. We've done five or six miles each day. And Backroads makes it flexible, using two vans to provide transfers and lots of options, and encouraging everyone to break free and ‘have your own adventure’, and I have.
Then there’s the wine! I tend to favor red blends of late. And Chianti Classico is often a blend, too. The main grape is Sangiovese, and Classico can be 100 percent Sangiovese, but it’s often blended with another red, with the designation very strictly controlled by the government. I liked best some 'Super Tuscan' blends, labeled as 'Toscano'. And I now know that most Italian wines have about one-tenth the headache-producing sulfites of those from California and France! We’ve tasted both wine and olive oil, and amazing spreads of food have appeared all along the way.