Just 20 minutes from Florence, Volterra and San Gimignano, on the road linking Pisa and Siena, the thirteenth-century tower and the ancient vineyards of Castello Sonnino overlook the hills of Florentine Chianti. History, culture and a passion for wine animate the rooms and cellars of the Castello, where excellent wine has been produced for centuries. It is a place charged with emotion, to be intensely experienced through guided tours, dinners and tastings, wine tours, cultural events, courses and taste workshops. The Castello Sonnino consists of a seventeenth-century mansion and a fortified tower, the origins of which date to the thirteenth century. Over time the entire property belonged to various powerful local dynasties, until in the early nineteenth century it came into the hands of the Sonnino family. The minister Sidney Sonnino lived here at length, and King Umberto I, Vittorio Emanuele III, D'Annunzio and Giolitti were just some of the illustrious guests who stayed here in the early years of the twentieth century. The Castello as we know it today is the result of the commitment of Baron Alessandro and Baroness Caterina de Renzis Sonnino, who returned to live here in the 1980s and relaunched the agricultural estate after years of abandon. Today the Castello Sonnino is officially recognised as a Historic Dwelling (ADSI), as well as being one of the leading local producers of Chianti Montespertoli D.O.C.G. Hence the rehabilitation plan of the present owners was designed to preserve the memory, also stimulating the creation of an authentic Sidney Sonnino Historic Archive and a Study Centre which have their premises in the Castello. The agricultural activity yields excellent wines of remarkable character and olive oil including the prized Laudemio, offering a unique form of insight into the territory: the experience of the taste of a tradition. In addition to the traditional Chianti grape varieties, such as Sangiovese and Canaiolo, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Cabernet, Sauvignon and Malbec grapes are now also grown on the estate. The Castello boasts the assistance of the oenologist Stefano Chioccioli in addition to an internal AIS sommelier. From the last strip of the farm, with entrance from the road that leads directly from the town of Montespertoli, Caterina de Renzis Sonnino has restored part of the old farmhouse to create a convivial ambience, of simple elegance and very welcoming, which houses the premises of the new Restaurant. A tasteful and informal place where visitors can enjoy brunch and snacks, lunch or dinner, or even take away a basket of flavoursome foods to enjoy a cool picnic in the Castle gardens. Welcome and conviviality, Tuscan tradition and innovation, simplicity and creativity are the buzzwords of our cuisine, made using quality products, mostly organic and preferably “zero miles”. The Castello Sonnino also offers the chance of an exclusive sojourn in the rooms of the beautiful apartment carved out inside the ancient Clock Tower. A rich calendar of events is organised in collaboration with local associations, comprising our consolidated liaison with Slow Food. Not to be missed among these is the annual “Picnic in the shade of the Moro” in June. Castello Sonnino is within easy reach of Florence: taking the freeway in the Pisa-Livorno direction, come off at the Ginestra Fiorentina exit and then follow the signs for Montespertoli.