The choices come down to renting a car or taking an organized tour; traveling by public bus you can get to towns along the route and see the countryside but you won’t be able to reach most of the wineries and many of the sights. SITA (tel. 055-214-721; www.sitabus.it) from Florence services most of the town in the region but service is infrequent and geared to the schedules of residents not sightseers. Whichever option you choose, don’t overdo it. You should limit visits to two or three wineries, so you can get the full experience of each. Three especially worthy stops are Villa Vignamaggio, Badia a Coltibuono, and Castello di Brolio, where wine tasting comes with a big dose of weighty history.
If you rent a car, you’ll find it easy to find and follow the SS222, which is well marked and signposted along the way. You can easily see the sights and visit some wineries on a day’s excursion and be back in Florence in time for dinner. Among organized tours, the most enjoyable are those geared to small groups that visit small wineries, so you don’t find yourself part of a mob overrunning a huge operation. Some of the most respectable and consistently reliable are the van tours operated by Tuscan Wine Tours (tel. 331-3583823; www.tuscan-wine-tours.com), which take in two or three family-run wineries, with a stop for lunch (125€).
Biking through the Chianti can be one of Tuscany's most rewarding and scenic workouts. Use a reliable tour company or go on your own by renting a bike in central Greve at Ramuzzi, Via Italo Stecchi 23 (tel. 055-853-037; www.ramuzzi.com); the cost is 20€ per day for a road bike or mountain bike, and 55€ a day for a scooter (discounts are available for multiple days). The company also organizes tours of a few days with local guides. The region's low mountains and stands of ancient forest are also excellent for hiking. For exploring by any means, you'll need an appropriate map, available in book and souvenir stores in the Chianti, Siena, and Florence. The free maps distributed by tourist offices aren't sufficient for veering far off the beaten path.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.