It goes without saying that Italy is a great place to visit if you love wine. The number of excellent wine producing regions is vast; you can scarcely go wrong, even when ordering the vino della casa at some out-of-the-way trattoria.
When you’re planning an Italian wine tour of world-class dimensions, the problem might very well be that there are too many choices! But regardless of how your shortlist shakes out, Tuscany is bound to be on it.
A Brief Summary of Wine Regions in Tuscany
If you want to dive into world-class wines, Bolgheri is the hands-down winner. Birthplace of Super Tuscans, this region is best known for its reds but excellent whites are produced here as well. Here you’ll find producers such as Antinori, Sassicaia (Tenuta San Guido) and Ornellaia, who put Bolgheri and Super Tuscans on the map, as well as newer wine houses such as Gaia, Campo alla Sughera, and Michele Satta.
Bolgheri is quite near the coast of Tuscany, about an hour south of Livorno and not far from the Medieval splendour of Volterra.
The first thing that comes to mind when you talk about wine and Tuscany is Chianti, evoking classic images of straw-swaddled bottles, and carrying with it a reputation that is famous the world over.
Chianti is, of course, still as dedicated as ever to its traditions, and the wines run the gamut from everyday table wine to stuff fit for a king (with commensurate prices). As much as tradition holds firmly here, much innovation is also going on in Chianti, with many producers creating fabulous Super Tuscans by blending classic Chianti varietals in new ways.
In the southern part of Tuscany is the wine area around Suvereto, where the craft of winemakers has partnered with the bounty of the earth to produce truly gorgeous red wines. You may have never heard of Suvereto but this is not an area to be overlooked by the wine enthusiast. There are some crazy-amazing world-class wineries here, such as Tua Rita, Petra, and Rocca di Frassinello. Some of the wineries are themselves impressive works of art by famous architects.
Suvereto is also a very nice village to visit, as is Massa Marittima. The resort community of San Vicenzo is quite close by, as is the port of Piombino (ferry departures for Elba and other islands in the Tuscan archipelago).
For something along the lines of "one of those best kept secrets" there is Terricciola. (If you are coming to Tuscany by cruise ship this is an excellent choice as the driving times are reasonable). The countryside in this area is exactly what you come to Tuscany for, and the wines are excellent, even world-class.
This wine region is not far from the Medieval splendour of Volterra.
San Gimignano, the hilltop village known for its Medieval towers, is also known for its refreshing, light white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano.
San Gimignano is a place you must see if you are visiting Tuscany, set in one of the most beautiful parts of the Tuscan countryside. It is located about an hour from Florence and 45 minutes from Siena.
MONTECARLO DI LUCCA
Not far from Lucca is the respected wine region of Montecarlo, producing both reds and whites. If you are a fan of Prosecco, which is not so commonly produced in Tuscany, make note that Tenuta del Buonamico produces a marvelous one.
Montecarlo di Lucca is super-convenient if you’re staying or visiting Lucca, being only 25 minutes or so by car from the elegant walled city.
How to Put Together a Custom Wine Tour in Tuscany
When you’re booking a wine tour, having a dedicated driver is nothing short of a necessity! You also need someone who knows their way around the terrain, as wineries are usually set somewhere out in the vast mystery of the Tuscan countryside. The narrow, winding, dirt roads can be a challenge, even for professional drivers.
DriverInRome offers popular wine tasting excursions such as the Chianti wine region and the white-wine producing area around San Gimignano. These day trips are available from the port of Livorno as well as the city of Florence.
If you’re after a wine tour that is off the beaten path, we’d be pleased to help you arrange it. We will make all the wine tasting reservations (unless you have your own contacts) as well as furnish you with a private vehicle and English-speaking driver.
All our drivers are rigorously trained and properly licensed. Rest assured you will be in good hands so that you can enjoy your day of wine tasting without worry.