One of the most important things of May 2016, for San Donato and its environs, was the ninth stage, timed, of the Giro d´Italia cycling race passing through the area. It went through the Chianti area and was called the Chianti Classico Stage.
The pink caravan left Radda in Chianti on Sunday, 15th May at 12.35 and weaved its way along the roads of Chianti countryside, passing through Castellina in Chianti and reaching Pietracupa at San Donato in Poggio, where it turned towards Greve in Chianti for the finish line and prize giving.
The main sponsor of this event was the Consorio Chianti Classico, which strongly encouraged the passing of the most important cycling tour race in Italy, through the Chianti area to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Gallo Nero (Black Cockrel) Chianti. In its honour, at several places along the route were installed large black cockrels wearing pink jerseys, pink being the colour of the jersey worn by the leading cyclist.
Many and diverse were the initiatives set up by the local administrations to valorise the territory. In San Donato in Poggio, the Pro-loco set up an exhibition showing the thread connecting cycling, wine making and the artists of this area. In fact there were three exhibitions in the impressive Palazzo Malaspina, a renaissance building right in the centre of the village that is used for all the more important activities. The week before the atmosphere heated up with wine tasting and music for all to enjoy.
From the Fattoria Montecchio we could see the race pass by along the nearby road SP101. During the previous week, Fattoria Montecchio, the great protagonist of the events leading up to the race, set up wine-tasting stalls in San Donato, Radda in Chianti and Greve in Chianti, (where it was among the members of the international media village). The Montecchio farm also offered and housed the luscious lunch given for the local trekking society, confirming its prominent place within the local community, and not only.
To put it into sporting terminology we could say that the Fattoria Montecchio, with its antique terracotta furnace, its great wines and its olive press is sprinting on!