The impressive Castello di Brolio dominates the southern Chianti Classico countryside and has done so for over ten centuries. Located on top of an isolated hill a few kilometers from Gaiole in Chianti
, the castle has Lombardic origins and has been property of the Ricasoli family since 1141.
Even though it is closer to Siena, which can be seen in the distance and is just 20 km away, the castle has always been under the influence of Florence and used as one of its strategical outposts. Because of this, the castle was besieged and destroyed many times over the centuries. Every time it has been reconstructed following the style of the current age. It suffered its last attack during World War II, as can be noticed by the holes left by shrapnel all over facade.
The castle we see today is partly the new-Gothic reconstruction ordered by Bettino Ricasoli in the 1800s. The Renaissance gardens with typical geometric shaped bushes and the English woods are stunning and from here you can admire a breathtaking view over the Chianti region. On the horizon, during clear, sunny days, you can clearly see Siena.
Inside the castle you can visit the Chapel of San Jacopo and the crypt with the family tombs and a small museum housing the Ricasoli collection. The collection displays several valuable family weapons, as well as documents and personal belongings of Bettino Ricasoli, together with part of his personal fossil and mineral collection.
You can visit the garden and the small museum in Castello di Brolio, the rest of the castle is still home to the current Ricasoli baron and his family. The "classic" tour is a free visit to the gardens around the castle. The "historical" tour includes the gardens and a guided tour to the museum, while the "research and experimentation" tour is upon reservation and includes the guided tour to the wine cellars and experimental vineyards of the estate.