Wine Touring in Tuscany? Plan ahead

I have just finished getting the last e-mails of the kind I don’t want to get anymore. They went like this:

Dear Italian Wine Guy,

Thanks for setting us up at Castello di Greatness. Got delayed at the Prada outlet and never made it. I never realized that Piedmont was so far away from Tuscany. Thanks. We’ll look the wine up back in the states, and order it the next time we see it on a wine list.


Joe (the Ugly American) Consumer

A few hours later I got an e-mail from the winery:

Dear Italian Wine Guy,

Where are the people you asked us to give a tour and tasting for? We brought our mother with us, from Milano, to cook lunch. Please don’t ask us to entertain people for you if they don’t show up. Especially during the harvest.


Giuseppe (the Angry Italian) Winemaker

In my work, people often ask me to set them up to visit a winery. Sometimes, all they want is a tasting, and that’s fine. But some folks think we are travel agencies.

So what do you do if you are really a bonafide wine tourist, but want to get an insight into the workings of the Italian wine process?

Castello di Gabbiano in Greve is a good example. They also have a good restaurant on site and wonderful accommodations in their newly restructured, 12th century castle.

Many towns in Tuscany, have places where the collective wine output is gathered. A fascinating example is Le Cantine di Greve in Chianti. This place is wonderful in that you can put down 10 or 20 euros and they give you a card, charged, and you can go from wine to wine and taste some or many wines from Italy.

The Enoteca Italiana in Siena is a great place to look at wines from all over Italy. It is not just a regional wine showplace, it is the National Wine Chapel.

Castello Banfi in Montalcino really has it down to an art form. A  fabulous tour ( 3 weeks in advance please- plan ahead) , a glass museum that is not to be missed, a great lunch place, the Taverna, an even greater dinner spot, Il Ristorante. The Italians I saw there on my last stop were loving the wine shop and the restaurants. Not just for American tourists. For a peek go here: Virtual Tour .
So there are ways to get an inside look. It just takes a little advance planning.

for more of this article go here 

A little light reading on the subject?

Too Much Tuscan Sun by Dario Castagno with Robert Rodi

photo by Tara Adair



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