Tuscany: Wine Tasting

Sun, dolce vita and picturesque towns...

Tuscany produces world-famous wines, its most popular being Chianti. Travel to the Chianti region for a sojourn of bacchanalian proportions. If you still want more wine then try the rich red wines of the Montalcino vineyards and the Vino Nobile from Montepulciano. Montepulciano is the highest hill-town of the region, so take time to enjoy the views of Southern Tuscany from these heights.

If you prefer to go on a guided wine tour, you will benefit from the experience of an expert wine guide who will show you the lesser known rural Tuscan areas and quiet roads. You may also visit enchanting hilltop villages, meet the characterful local folks, sample lovely local lunch and visit family-owned wineries.

A good start for your wine tasting trip in Tuscany would be in Piazza Antinori, named after the vineyard barons who own the city's most refined wine bar there, the Cantinetta Antinori. For something more down-to-earth, we recommened La Fiaschetteria in Oltrarno. Note that most of the bottles you will find at less expensive restaurants tend to be chianti, while highbrow places have labels from farther afield. Also, beware of cheap wine bars slinging so-called "Supertuscans," when in fact they are nothing of the sort.

If you are looking for something off the beaten tourist track, Carmignano, just outside Prato, boasts one of Tuscany's oldest winemaking traditions, and yet it is barely touched by foreign tourists. This is even more surprising considering its proximity to Florence and the potential for day trips.