For wine-lovers, one of the great pleasures of a
vacation in Tuscany is to take the opportunity to compare
wines at an enoteca or a winery - wine
tasting in Tuscany! One may simply be looking
for a really appealing wine to take home or "educating
the palate" by detecting and characterising the
differences among wines from within the same wine
appellation or by doing a "vertical tasting" of
wines from the same vineyard but different years.
How to organise your wine tasting in Tuscany
Visit an Enoteca - this is the name for a location
where a large range of wines is offered by the glass (or
less) so that you can conveniently taste and compare different
wines in a uniform environment. One of the most famous is in
the Fortezza Medicea of Sienna.
This is the Enoteca Italiana and it offers some 1600
different wines from all corners of Italy. A popular choice
is to buy wine in groups of three glasses. These may be
enjoyed outside under the pergolas in summer, and inside in small rooms in winter.
Another, more technological, wine tasting establishment is Le
Cantine in Greve
in Chianti where you can buy a card of value
suitable to the number or quality of the wines you wish to
try. You introduce the card into the wine dispensers to fill
your glass. Le Cantine specialises in Chianti wines, and
usually there are around 140 available. If you don't use up
all the credit on your card, the balance is
These are just two well-known examples of dedicated wine
tasting establishments. An advantage of the enoteca is that
it will usually be in town, obviating the need to drive after
"tasting" a quantity of wine.
Visit a Tuscan vineyard - the roads of Chianti and other
wine-producing parts of Tuscany are lined with "Degustazione"
signs, meaning that wine tasting is offered. Most of these
Tuscan wineries are quite small and there is always a chance that no
one will be around to conduct the tasting, especially during busy
times such as the annual grape harvest. However, the usual
routine is that you will have the opportunity, free or for a
small fee, to taste the wine produced on that property
(only) - normally a couple of reds and a vin santo. The
vineyard might have a wine sales point or you might do the
tasting in the wine cellar, from bottles or from barriques. Very large properties have
quite well-organised tours with programmed starting times,
covering the vineyard, winemaking and cellars, as well as
parts of the castle or villa as well. However, these very
professional winery tours are much less common than in Napa
Valley, for example. For the most part, you are dependent on
luck - is the winery open, is the winemaker in a good humour
and keen to explain his wines etc.
Take a wine
Tuscan tour - a number of individuals
and small firms offer one day minibus tours that take you to
between two and four wineries in a particular area of
Tuscany, usually the Chianti Classico
(Brunello di Montalcino), Montepulciano
(Vino Nobile di Montepulciano) or Bolgheri and the Etruscan coast wine
road, the location of the original "Super Tuscan" wine producers and still the home of several very famous wineries.
tasting tours in Tuscany eliminate any problems associated with drinking
wine and driving. The tour driver should also be an
experienced guide, preferably with a sommelier certificate,
so that you can expect an expert commentary and visits to
atmospheric wineries that you might not find if you are
exploring the area independently. A lunch in the wine zone
is normally part of the tour, and a visit to one of the more
picturesque villages in the area might also be included.
These Tuscany wine tours can be private or shared. On
private wine tours, you do not share your minibus with other
participants and you have great flexibility in planning your
tour with your guide. Shared tours cost less because you
share your vehicle with other participants, usually not more
than 8 in toto. The itinerary of a shared tour is
usually quite fixed.
tasting tours of Chianti, Montalcino, Montepulciano and Bolgheri
and shared minibus wine tours (up to 8 persons)
with Angela Saltafuori
• Full day private and shared wine tours from Florence
and nearby to Chianti Classico castles, villages and wineries. Fixed prices offered.
• Full day private and
shared wine tours from Florence and nearby to Vino Nobile
di Montepulciano and Brunello
di Montalcino wineries. Fixed prices offered.
• Full day sight-seeing tours from Florence and nearby to the
Crete Senesi - Montalcino, Montepulciano, Pienza, Colle di Val
d'Elsa, Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore. Fixed prices offered.
about Angela's Tuscany
wine tasting tours