Plan a wine tour in Tuscany
No doubt, Tuscany is home to good wines and is also a beautiful region to explore. So if you are a wine lover and you are in Florence for a few days plan a wine tour.
But before planning your holiday in Tuscany read these recommendations.
1) Tuscany is bigger than it looks.
Tuscany is a rather large region and is bigger than it looks. Everything seems around the corner, but you can not be fooled by that.
2) Drive slow.
The roads are dirt and winding, and the area is hilly so it would take a long time to go from a winery to a nearby one.
Keep into account that when you plan your visits Google maps can be a good enough tool for measuring time and distance.
3) The number of wineries.
In Tuscany, there are thousands of good cellars
Do not expect to visit a dozen in a single day, but rather think of a view of a wine area to deepen your knowledge of wine.
Do not fill ten points in a day, aim for three. Two would be ideal.
4) Take your time.
Everything in Italy is slower, so your visits will be more pleasant. You will not have time to try and savor your wine if you hurry up for tours and tastings and to drive everywhere. Spend more time at each winery and less time in the car.
5) Bring a Gps
If you decide to go on your own with a rental car, take a GPS with you, even the smartphone is fine.
It might also be a good idea to have a list of phone numbers for the wineries you plan to visit at your fingertips. You may need it.
6) Plan your interests.
To find the best place to situate yourself, you have to consider several factors including, how many days you will be in Tuscany, how much of your trip will you dedicate to the wine tour, what kind of wines will you like to drink? and you want to know more about, and what other cities are you planning to visit during your stay in Tuscany? Every situation is different and sometimes a consultation can be useful.
7) Where to stay.
As a general rule, the Florence area is a good starting point to visit the Chianti Classico and Chianti Rufina area. Instead, Siena is a good base for exploring and tasting Brunello, Vino Nobile, and Rosso di Montalcino. If you only have a day or a half day, choose the style of wine that interests you most and focus on that area. Avoid going to Florence if your goal is Brunello di Montalcino or Nobile di Montepulciano. It would be a waste of time and money. Remember that petrol in Italy is very expensive.
8) Make an appointment.
If you decide to visit a large company like Antinori, Ornellaia, or Biondi Santi, you will have to book and pay a ticket that in some cases can be very expensive. The ticket for a wine tasting varies from € 25 to € 120 per person depending on the quality of the wines that you want to taste.
For the smaller vineyards always remember to book well in advance because many times the staff does not speak English.
And after taking that appointment, it is important to keep it and be on time. The smaller producers are mostly family run and do not have a waiting staff. This is particularly important in September and October when the cellars are busy with the harvest.
9) Wine Tasting Experience
Every winery offers different ways of making the wine experience, for instance in some you can taste 3/4 types of wine in others you can also taste the extra virgin olive oil. The staff sometimes speaks well English and is well prepared. In some vineyards, you will be also taken to explore the cellar and vineyards.
Everyone has his own style. from the formal as Antinori and Ornellaia to the casual of the boutiques of wine.
10) Take a guided wine tour
The best way to avoid having to worry about anything that I mentioned above is to organize a guided wine tour with a local Tour Operator.
Avoid large company such as Viator, AirB&B, Getyourguide or TripAdvisor because they are not the organizers of the tour, but they get very high commissions to local operators, such as 25% / 30%. You risk throwing your money away.
Select local Tour Operator based in Florence like us www.italyandwine.net.
You can join a small group or ask for a private excursion with a driver.