Most wine lovers have taken part in cellar tours and wine tastings, but how many have had the chance to spend a morning in the vineyard with a professional agronomist to learn how the perfect grape is cultivated? Well here's the opportunity to do just that.
We leave Florence for our Tuscany Wine Tour at 09:00 a.m. and travel through the Tuscan countryside, arriving at our estate in the Chianti region around 10:15 a.m. On arrival we'll be introduced to the winery's staff and then it's off into the vineyard where we'll be treated to the tuition of the winery's agronomist.
The aspects we cover will include: vine training methods and the reasons they are chosen, the effects of different soil compositions, notions on exposition and climate, the importance of non irrigation (yes in Tuscany there's no irrigation), different pruning systems, the green harvest (cluster reduction), defoliation, and the correct timing for all processes. Those lucky enough to be present at harvest time will even get to participate in grape picking.
There is no need for any form of expertise, all are welcome to participate and ask questions. It's a "master class" open to all, which depending on the time of season (April to early October), will reward us with a unique experience that's beyond the "usual" wine tasting.
Please bear in mind that viticulture is seasonal, so what we see will depend on the time of year; pruned budding vines in April, full foliage in June, ripe grapes in late September etc.
No doubt you'll want to discover how all this translates to the wine in the bottle, and we've thought of the way to do just that. Around mid day we sit down to a private table in the estate's 18th century villa (see photo on right) to be pampered with a home cooked three course Tuscan lunch. Each course of your meal will be suitably paired with the estate's highly rated Chianti Classico, Chianti Reserve, and Super Tuscan wines. This won't be restaurant style food, but an authentic family Sunday lunch. Portions are generous, and wine more than sufficient, so it's highly recommended you forget your diet, at least for today.
Mid afternoon we leave for a short drive through the Chianti countryside and take a photo or two. This will be followed by a half hour visit to the square of the tiny town of Greve in Chianti.
Our Tuscany Wine Tour ends and we arrive in Florence around 05:00 p.m.
Please note: in case of light rain your morning in the vineyard will still take place, and you will be supplied with plastic macs. In the case of very bad weather the lesson will be held indoors. To compensate not going out into the field, we'll have an added lesson on wine making techniques, plus a wine tasting session from the barrel of five single varietal wines. The vineyard could be dusty or muddy, I suggest you consider suitable footwear.
Tour duration: approx seven hours door to door.