Do you love wine? This is the best season in Tuscany if you do love wine, as the whole region is harvesting its vineyards…. some estates start earlier, some later, depending on where they are and the climate. We’ve had the chance to peek into the world of wine at the Malenchini wine estate, which owns the Villa Medicea di Liliano just outside of Florence. They’ve invited us to experience the time of harvest – and the first winemaking stages – at this time of year. We’d like to share the experience – and encourage you to visit the estate to also experience the world of wine!
The Villa Medicea di Liliano is located on the southern hills overlooking Florence and thus makes a great base for staying in the Chianti countryside while being just a short distance from the city. You enjoy both the quiet and tranquility of nature all around – in this case surrounded by olive groves and vineyards – as well being a short car ride into town for a dinner out or an evening at the theater or opera.
The Villa Medicea di Liliano estate has been owned by the Malenchini family for over two centuries and Diletta Malenchini, the latest generation, is often around the estate overseeing one aspect or another of the wine-making process and other activities. She’s a wonderful host – along with the estate’s manager Eric – and will make sure you feel at home at Liliano, whether you stop by for a visit or stay at their holiday apartments (read more about them here).
You can stay at the estate and get a full immersion or even just visit for a half-day. In any case, the villa’s wine cellars are fabulous! You can set up a visit into the modern winery where the wine goes through its first process of agiing, and then the cellar where large wooden barrels where their Chianti wine is aging once it needs to mature. The cellar also contains large terracotta urns where olive oil used to be stored ages ago — and when special events are planned, the cellar can be magically transformed with special lighting as it was done last year.
The estate produces 7 organic wines, from Chianti to a Rose’, a vinsanto and spumante, all with DOCG, DOC or IGT certifcates. And, of course, organic extra virgin olive oil as well.
While we didn’t pick grapes ourselves (we did try our hand at cutting a few), it was interesting to see the work behind the scenes, from the fields to the first trip into the winery where the grapes get squeezed.
The estate has a wine shop, where you can drop by and have tastings at any time of the day of the estate’s wines. If you’re also interested in a tour of the winery or cellars, either plan to be there by 10am or 4:30pm or call ahead to set up an appointment for another time.
I don’t think you will be able to walk away without buying some wine direct at great prices! Rest assured, they can also ship it back home so you don’t have to worry about carrying it back in your luggage ;-).
The estate provides a gorgeous setting for special events, as well as weddings. You can see from the Harvest Day at the villa from last year how they manage to transform the villa into a magical setting and provide for great memories. They have a whole set of trusted vendors for catering, light design, flowers and plants, cakes, transfers and more.
Ready for your harvest visit Villa Medicea di Liliano? Check out their website for more details and to book either a wine tasting, winery and cellar tour or your next stay in Chianti with them!
Thank you Diletta and Eric for being wonderful hosts and inviting us to join in in the harvest celebration!
These were the vendors from last year’s party at the villa, including credits for the watermarked images above (the rest are my own 😉 ):
Styling and planning: @mytuscanwedding
Light design and Entertaiment: @almaproject247
Transfers and vespa’s: @florencetown
About Lourdes Flores
An American living in Florence for over 10 years, Lourdes continues to explore and discover new places in Tuscany with the eyes of a tourist but with the experience of living in Italy. She shares her experiences on this blog and website, particularly offering lots of travel planning help on the Forum!