One of Tuscany’s major attractions is its top-notch wine. Set in the center of Italy, with the Thyrrenean Sea to its west that provides a perfect Mediterranean climate, Tuscany is home to numerous wine regions where both unknown and world-renowned vineyards can be found. And with this fact in hand, visiting these Tuscan wineries is a must for every tourist to fully experience the region.
These wine estates, most of them family-owned, usually welcome walk-in guests and allow vineyard tours and wine tasting. They even provide hosts to guide every tour to make it more informative and enjoyable for everyone. Some of them, however, require appointments and reservations so it’s worth checking out their websites for details before the visit.
The hilly commune of Montalcino, west of Pienza and some 40 kilometers from Siena, is world-famous for its local wines. One of its finest, famous in Italy, is Brunello di Montalcino. Notable for its longevity, said to be good for 50 years, this dark red wine is made of local Sangiovese. Aged for at least four years, Brunello wines are known to be expensive. Wineries to visit in Montalcino include Castello Banfi Wine Estate, Tenuta di Castel Giocondo, Tenuta Il Poggione, Fattoria Pogio Antico and many more. The latter opens seven days a week, all year round, for wine tasting.
At the southeastern region of Tuscany lies Montepulciano. Renowned for its grandiose palaces and medieval wine cellars, the town should be included in your list for finding the best wineries in Tuscany. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is the most celebrated wine in this area. Made from a Sangiovese variety named Prugnolo Gentile, this wine must be aged for at least two years. Some of the wineries to visit are Az. Agr. Poliziano Winery, Poderi Boscarelli Winery, Villa Sant’ Anna, Az. Il Godiolo and Bindella.
In the heart of Tuscany, between Siena and Florence, lies its largest wine-producing region, the Chianti region. The region is responsible for making the world-class Chianti Classico. Originally concocted during the mid - nineteenth century by then Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Italy, Baron Bettino Ricasoli, Chianti Classico takes pride in the distinguished Gallo Nero or the black rooster label. This indicates that this wine is produced by a member of the Chianto Classico Consortium. Winemakers to visit within this area consist of Val delle Corti, a 6-hectare organic vineyard that produces almost 100% sangiovese chianti classico; Villa Pomona in Castellina that makes its chianti traditionally, adding its local colorino grape; Fontodi, a 110-hectare expanse of vines and olive trees that particularly uses terracotta vats instead of the more conventional wooden barrels; and Le Boncie in Castelnuova Berardenga.
Just north of Chianti Classico is Chianti Colli Fiorentini that produces Chianti with different blending. Cabernet and Merlot are some of the varieties used. While San Michele a Torri, known for its cellars within the 16th century villa, produces fruity and smooth wine the classic way, Tenuta San Vito in Fior di Selva relies on its innovative approaches to guarantee the quality of the wines it makes.
Carmignano, nestled on the slopes of Mount Albano almost ten miles northwest of Florence, has more than 2,500 years of history in winemaking. Producers in this region developed the mixture of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon in the 18th century. Villa di Capezzana is one of the many family-operated winery estate in Carmignano. Visit the estate and take a glimpse of their underground wine cellars. Other vineyards worth checking out are Artimino, Fattoria Il Poggiolo, Le Farnete and Piaggia and Castelvecchio.
Bolgheri is another wine zone located in Castagneto Carducci in the province of Livorno. Known as a good maker of Super Tuscan wines, Bolgheri also produces white wines and rose wines. Include in your itinerary some of its major winemakers, namely Tenuta San Guido, Ca Marcanda, Le Macchiole, Guado al Tasso and Tenuta Dell’Ornellaia. Tenuta San Guido is a renowned producer of Sassicaia, one of the finest Bordeaux-style wines in Italy.
San Gimignano, coined as the Town of Fine Towers for its well-preserved tower houses, is not only famous for its architecture but also for Vernaccia di San Gimignano. This white Italian wine is made from the Vernnacia grape and is one of the best white wines of Italy. There are several ways of making Vernnacia, resulting in different characteristics depending on its makers. These makers include Fattoria Monte Oliveto, Cantine Baroncini, Ca Del Vispo, Tenuta Le Calcinaia and many more.