Perched high above Chianti wine country, Brolio Castle (Castello di Brolio) is one of the most impressive defensive castles that once guarded Gaiole in Chianti, a sleepy hilltown with an important medieval past. The castle has been owned since the 12th century by the Ricasoli family, which has a long and prestigious history of winemaking.
Commanding the surrounding countryside from its home above rolling hills of olive groves and vineyards, Castello di Brolio was remodeled with Gothic turrets and towers in the mid-19th century by Bettino Ricasoli, two-time prime minister of Italy and the man responsible for introducing Chianti wine to the world. One of the most popular activities on Chianti wine tours, Brolio Castle visits include the castle and private chapel, Ricasoli’s art collection, and Renaissance gardens, along with the winery's cellars, expansive vineyards, and tasting room and shop. Castello di Brolio is also a highlight of castle tours, wine country tours, and hilltown tours in Tuscany.
Things to Know Before You Go
- You can purchase the estate's Chianti Classico and other wines, grappas, and olive oils in the wine shop.
- The Osteria del Castello restaurant is also located on the castle grounds.
- You’ll find sweeping views from the castle walls and grounds, so bring your camera.
- Touring the castle involves a fair amount of walking, so comfortable shoes are recommended.
- Much of the castle and winery isn’t accessible to wheelchairs or strollers.
- The minimum drinking age in Italy is 18.
How to Get There
Brolio Castle is located just outside of Gaiole di Chianti in the Chianti region; it’s more than an hour south of Florence and about 40 minutes northeast of Siena along the A1 highway (exit at Valdichiana. The most convenient way to visit the castle and surrounding wine country is with an organized tour that includes transportation.
When to Get There
The Chianti countryside is particularly lovely in the spring and fall, so time your visit to the Brolio Castle when views are at their peak.
The Castles of Chianti
Gaiole in Chianti is surrounded by a network of imposing castles that defended the town and surrounding region during the Middle Ages. Other castles include Castello di Meleto, Vertine, and Barbischio.