Some of the best Tuscany wine tours can be found in Chianti Classico, the oldest part of Chianti and one of Tuscany’s most important Wine tourism destinations. Depending on your expectations, level of expertise and budget, here are a 7 tips to make the best of your Tuscany wine tours.
Plan ahead: organising Tuscany Wine tours takes time!
Every wine cellar and estate is different so planning your own DIY tour actually gives you the power to choose and live by your own rules and taste. Study the maps, research where you can find and savour the kinds of wine that you love best. Go off the beaten track and follow your instincts. By planning ahead you will be able to really trace a complete itinerary that combines hidden Tuscan treasures and family run businesses with historical vineyards. Don’t be afraid to call or write, you are bound to find someone who speaks English.
Take in the beauty of Chianti Classico
The term Chianti Classico isn’t only representative of a type of Tuscan wine: it is a land brimming with history, scattered with castles and fortresses, medieval hamlets, ruins and watchtowers, convents and abbeys, churches and farmhouses. Enjoy frequent pitstops, leave some space for improvisation and let yourself be surprised by the many wonders of this magical land. Tuscany offers 14 designated Wine Roads, the perfect solution for travellers who want to fully experience our region’s natural and oenological richness. Whether alone or in the company of a loved one, this trip is all about romanticism.
To drive or not to drive? The Tuscany Wine Tours dilemma
Although wine tasting usually involves a lot of swirling and spitting, you don’t want to feel guilty when a nice glass of Sangiovese is calling your name. Drinking and driving is not a solution so we suggest joining a small group, hiring a driver or, in some cases, you can plan a shuttle service directly with the winery. If you’re a sports buff, you can always plan to go by bike! For all you “Do-It-Yourself” lovers, some wineries can actually be reached by bus. Many wineries offer lodging so you can always stay the night. Always remember to have something to nibble on in your bag (crackers are your best ally) and plan to stop for a big lunch.
If you’re already an oenological expert, jump down to tip#5. In tip #4 we mentioned “swirling and spitting”, two motions that seasoned wine-tasters are quite familiar to. But if you’re a novice and want to learn, we suggest you perfect your skills before taking off towards those wonderful rolling hills. Start by buying a few nice bottles of wine, a wine glass and, if you want to possess all the professional props, a spittoon (failing that, a sink). Uncork your chosen bottle and pour a moderate amount of it in the wine glass. It is important to hold the glass from the stem – do not cup your hands around it or you will end up with warm wine. Swirl the wine for a few seconds to let it open and oxygenate. Stick your nose in the glass and let the aromas inspire you. Take a sip. Let it sit in your mouth for a second, swirl it around a bit in order to explore its nuances and flavours. Some people actually like to “chew” before spitting! Master your own technique and you’ll be ready for your Tuscany wine tours adventure!
Prepare your wallet
Make a clear list of your expenses and how much you are willing to push your budget: consider that buying wine directly from the producer is less expensive than buying it in specialised stores or online, so if you fall in love, you may want to put in an order of the good stuff to ship home. If you’re ready to really live a unique Tuscany wine tours experience, try horse-riding in the countryside, extend your day-trip to a 4-day stay, book a wellness treatment and taste our territory’s specialities.
Delve deep into a world of wine
Books, movies, guides, blogs, photo galleries: you can learn so much by just putting yourself out there! Don’t be afraid to ask! Many wineries have their own blogs (like Dievole!) which offer interesting advice, historical tidbits and tourist tips.
Make the most of your Tuscany wine tours experience
Timing is of the utmost importance. The high season goes from April to October and wineries tend to be busy (this is another reason to to book your trip in advance), so be sure to pick your dates wisely. During the tour don’t be shy, ask the sommelier everything you’ve ever wanted to know about wine and keep a diary of each variety you taste. Pamper yourself to a delightful lunch or picnic in the countryside and take a walk under the Tuscan sun. Take time to listen to the stories of each place you visit. Enjoy the nocturnal breeze and calm of the Chianti evenings and set your alarm to rise early and witness the sunrise over the vineyards. Go overboard, take as many pictures as you like and if you’re big on social media have fun with the many Tuscany-related hashtags.