Located in the heart of the Chianti Classico wine region, Relais Vignale is linked to this famed wine both geographically and historically. The estate dates back to the 18th century when it was already known for its very successful vineyards. It became the legal seat of the Consortium Vino Chianti Classico in 1924 when the Vignale’s successor, Baldassarre Pianigiani, created the Gallo Nero.
Today, its unpretentious façade in the center of Radda may make it seem rather ordinary in this picturesque town, but immediately upon entering, I was awed by its refined country elegance. Several lounges, tastefully and comfortably furnished, with frescoed ceilings, softly painted murals and grand stone fireplaces invite lingering anytime of the year, but most especially, I imagine, in the autumn when the evening air begins to chill.
In July, I was drawn outdoors and what magnificent views awaited me in the gardens and from the wisteria and jasmine-covered terrace! A panorama of gentle hills and terraced land graced with olive trees and vineyards was the perfect backdrop for a lunch or dinner at the Ristorante Vignale. The rose garden framed in lavender was like a painting come to life. A small, gated patio outside our suite was delightful with its plantings of rosemary, sage, lavender, climbing jasmine and an apricot tree. Inside, a lovely room decorated in shades of beige, apricot and terracotta offered yet another haven of relaxation.
The breakfast buffet, served in the scented shade of their vine-covered terrace, is generous and varied, certainly enough to satisfy the appetites of visitors setting out to explore the Chianti countryside. Or…one could just stay here and savor the beauty and relaxation of this special inn.
All images and reviews copyright 2015 by Ginda Simpson
Via Pianigiani, 9, 53017 Radda In Chianti ~ Tuscany, Italy
Relais Vignale ~ Original watercolor painting by Ginda Simpson