In May I took a break to Tuscany and have had itchy feet ever since. Apart from the beautiful landscape, delicious wines and food, I found the locals to be friendly, helpful and constantly smiling . Italy is an Old World wine producer with examples of traditionalist and modernist wines in abundance. One quickly learns which style is preferred, however as always, I struggled to choose, opting rather to taste everything!
Sassicaia - Tenuta San Guido in Bolgheri
Toscana is marked by rolling hills, cypress lined vineyards, fields of red poppies and hilltop towns such as Montalcino, Massa Maritima and San Gimignano, a medieval town. My journey took me from the historic Island of Elba, up the west coast to Bolgheri for a tour of the Supertuscan property, Sassicaia and then north east towards Siena, taking in the towns of Montalcino, San Gimignano en route.
Tuscany is home to Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montalpulcino, Vin Santo and Vernaccia di San Gimignano. There are regional differences in styles, tastes and varietals used, but the approach to winemaking clearly dictates the end result. Regional differences are not limited to wine alone, with an abundance of fresh produce and speciality dishes on offer.
Unlike the Cape winelands, where one is able to stop and taste along the way, the Tenuta’s (wineries) require pre-booking. Tasting prices range from 3 Euro’s per wine to 40 Euro’s for a Supertuscan experience of 5 wines. When arranging visits to wineries, bookings are made through a central wine tourism office, Strada del Vino. Most towns have Enoteca’s that offer a wide range of wines for tasting and you simply walk-in and taste on site.
Travelling through the Tuscan region by car is straight-forward and will appeal to those who enjoy unhurried scenic drives. However, be warned, some areas do not have good sign-posting and for some a train journey might be best. Trenitalia offers a reliable and comfortable experience and pre-booking may be done through their website.
Tenuta Greppo - home to Biondi Santi and Brunello di Montalcino
Look out for our Tuscan Wine Escape package that will be launched within the next two weeks. If you can’t wait, email me now: email@example.com