As most of my guests are to be based in Florence or nearby, the Chianti region
is the most obvious choice for my tours. It's also my personal favorite. The location is central Tuscany between the cities of Florence and Siena, and can be reached in about forty five minutes from Florence and twenty from Siena. For this reason the tour has a lower price tag than tours to the other famous Tuscany wine regions
, which require a drive of about two hours.
So why is Chianti my favorite location? Well simply because it's blessed with some of the world's most beautiful countryside, and it's all you expect when you picture Tuscany. It's a hilly woodland region that has been lovingly transformed into agricultural land, and is adorned with cypress trees, olive orchards, romantic old farm houses, and of course vineyards which however are only 15% of the whole region. Large wooded areas still exist, and legislation doesn't allow intensive conversion of the land to other uses. This is a blessing and has been done to help maintain the beauty and ecosystem, and also to limit the amount of wine being produced.
is the second most popular request I receive. Montalcino is a beautifully restored medieval hamlet sitting on a hilltop. The wine production area is really small and develops around the town and the vicinity of the hill. The countryside is very similar to Chianti, but take a ten minute drive and you're in the Valdorcia, which is very different. The vineyards disappear giving way to gentle rolling hills which are deep green in spring, and golden in summer. The crop is wheat and in some years there's even a lovely yellow from the flowers of Rapeseed. During the renaissance a concept of making farmland aesthetically pleasing was conceived, and it's still done to the present day, making the Valdorcia one of the most unique and beautiful farm lands of the world.
Despite the nectar of the gods status of the wines, the third but less requested location for a Tuscany wine tour
, which is located near the south west coast of Tuscany. It's a long trip along boring highways to get there, and both tastings and wines are expensive. In my opinion overly expensive, and the wines are not representative of Tuscan tradtions, so I tend not to propose Bolgheri. However it's a personal thing and other companies do. Anyone interested in wines that regularly score 95+, might well like to consider a trip to the area. As I said the journey isn't of interest, but once arrived the scenery is lovely. Being near the coast it's quite flat and the vineyards are interspersed with stone pine woods which are typical of Tuscany's coastal areas. I strongly suggest a drive along the famous cypress lined road that leads to the mediaeval hamlet of Bolgheri, it's impressive. This tour is done by my associates