Best Tuscany Wine Tours
If you love wine, Tuscany is the perfect place where to enjoy it. All the wine districts in our region offer spectacular views over a suggestive countryside. Rolling hills, medieval villages and castles, infinite vineyards and both traditional and modern wineries, where you can taste the best Tuscan wines. Here we suggest you the Best Tuscany Wine Tours for your holiday in the region. You can get some hints about the most popular wine destinations, from the world-wide famous Chianti area in the heart of Tuscany to the Etruscan coastal area of Bolgheri.
The Chianti Wine area
The Chianti area is located in the heart of Tuscany and it extends over the main cities of Florence and Siena. There is written evidence of winemaking traditions going back to the Etruscans, who inhabitated the region before the Romans. What we call today Chianti was officialy recognized as a district in 1716 by the Granduke of Tuscany Cosimo III de Medici. Its distinguishing trademark is the black rooster, symbol of the Consortium for the Protection of Chianti wine.
Later in 1932 Chianti was newly divided in 7 subregions: Classico, Colli Aretini (towards Arezzo), Colli Fiorentini (hills around Florence), Colline Pisane (hills around Pisa), Colli Senesi, (hills around Siena), Montalbano (hills around Pistoia) and Rùfina (to the east of Florence). According to the area of production, we have different wine denominations. Among them, the Chianti Classico is probably the most well-known.
In 1984, Chianti obtained the DOCG denomination (Denominazione d’Origine Controllata e Garantita, or Controlled and Guaranteed Denomination of Origin). This is the highest recognition for quality Italian wines. What characterizes a Chianti wine is the presence of the Sangiovese grape. Indeed, it must also contain at least 80% of it. The remaining amount is a mix of other local grapes or an international grape grown in Chianti. To soften the final product, producers use for example Cabernet, Merlot or Syrah grapes.
If you plan to enjoy a wine road trip in the Chianti area, you can stop by charming villages like Castellina in Chianti, Radda in Chianti, Greve in Chianti and Gaiole in Chianti. You can get there taking the SS222 road from Florence to Siena, that covers about 69 kilometers of charming vineyards and olive groves.
Brunello di Montalcino
The area around Montalcino also produces an exellent wine known as Brunello. The Brunello grape is a basically a Sangiovese clone. What makes a Brunello different from a Chianti wine is that the first one is made out of 100% Sangiovese grapes. This way, it differs from normal Chianti wine that use 80-85% of Sangiovese together with a blend of other grape types. Moreover, Brunello is high in tannins due to the climate of the area and its composition. Actually, it needs to age in barrels for a long time, sometimes even for twenty years.
The medieval town of Montalcino is surely worth a visit. You can visit the ancient castle from the 1300’s and get lost in the old streets within the walls. South of Siena and of the Chianti Classico zone, the road to Montalcino crosses some of the more characteristic landscapes in Tuscany. Indeed, you can enjoy impressive views over the Val d’Orcia and the Crete Senesi.
The good wine of the area is the result of its great location. In fact, the perfect sun exposure helps the grapes ripen and get its superior flavour. For many people, the year 1869 marks the official birth of Brunello, when it got its first award at the Agrarian Exibition of Mintepulciano.
Many are the wineries to visit in the area. Here you find some ideas for a visit to a wine tasting. We always suggest you to book your visit.
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Like Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino, the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is mainly made with Sangiovese grape. It got the DOCG status shortly after the Brunello di Montalcino in 1980. This recognition makes it one of the most prestigious wines in Italy and abroad. The name Nobile (noble) derives from the fact that the nobles loved it and considered it one of the best wines. In addition, many of the old producers were of noble origins.
The village of Montepulciano dates back to the Middle Ages and it is also worth a visit for the many historical monuments and buildings. In August, a very original race takes place, the Bravio delle Botti. During the event, the eight medieval contradas push big wooden wine barrels up the hill in the old town for about a kilometer.
The hills around Montepulciano, between the Val di Chiana and Val d’Orcia, hide very exclusive itineraries, where to admire beautiful landscapes and historical treasures. For this reason, Montepulciano must be in the list of the Best Tuscany Wine Tours.
Check out our Montalcino and Montepulciano wine tour to discover these wine disticts.
The Vernaccia di San Gimignano
If you prefer white wine, this is a good reason to reach the area of the Vernaccia di San Gimignano instead. In a region better known for its red wine, the Vernaccia is the white wine of Tuscany par eccellence. It was the first wine to get the DOC (Denominazione di origine controllata, Appellation of Controlled Origin) designation in 1966. To produce it, it is necessary to use a grape from the area around San Gimignano.
Taking a road trip to this area will bring you to excellent wine tastings and a magical historical town. The locals like to call San Gimignano the Manhattan of the Middle Ages. The reason is in the many old towers still standing there today, thar were once synonim of health and power.
You can taste Vernaccia in one of the many wineries, as well as other typical products of the area such as the Tuscan DOP prosciutto ham and saffron.
Read more about the Vernaccia di San Gimignano Wine Trail.
Bolgheri Wine Area
Travelling to the coast, you find another very charming wine district. Indeed, around the town of Bolgheri (south of Livorno) you can have some of the best Supertuscan wines like Sassicaia and Ornellaia. Specifically, its is the Tenuta San Guido that produces the Sassicaia, today one of the finest and also more expensive red wines world-wide.
Bolgheri represents quite a new wine region for such an old country like Italy. Compared to other wine districts like Chianti or even Montalcino, this area is flat and low in altitude.
The road leading to the village of Bolgheri is very suggestive. Indeed, the Viale dei Cipressi is a very scenic avenue with old majestic cypresses for about 5 kilometers. Once in the village, you can enjoy a relaxing walk between taste and history. You can find many osterie and restaurants within the walls, where to taste some of the most popular local recepies. Moreover, the Etruscan Coast offers beautiful beaches where to stop for few hours and enjoy the crystalline waters.
After visiting Bolgheri, you can continue with your wine road trip and take the Via Bolgherese (SP16) to Castagneto Carducci. It goes along vineyards, maritime pines and cypress trees. The magical landscape makes it one of the Best Tuscany Wine Tours for your holidays.