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Must visit wineries and restaurants in Chianti / Val d'Orcia

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Jul 19th, 2016, 03:10 PM
  #1
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Must visit wineries and restaurants in Chianti / Val d'Orcia

Hi All! My husband I will be in staying in Montepulciano for 5 days and our main priorities are food and wine. I would like to visit very scenic wineries, can you recommend any please? As for restaurants I've come across the following on some forums that look amazing

Osteria Del Borgo (for the view)
Osteria Acquacheta
Osteria La Porta (Pienza)

Thanks in advance!
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Jul 19th, 2016, 06:48 PM
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While a view vineyards allow drop-ins, many would require an appointment.

Add Latte di Luna to your Pienza list (no views really, but has outside seating)

You might set up a wine tasting at the Fortezza in Montalcino.

http://www.enotecalafortezza.com/
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Jul 20th, 2016, 01:05 AM
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Osteria La Porta in Pienza? I have eaten at Osteria La Porta in Monticchiello near Pienza http://www.osterialaporta.it/en/oste...ta-restaurant/. It is a simple but a popular osteria. Most of the tables were inside. There were only a few tables on the terrace and of that only about 4 had the unobstructed view of the valley. I booked a table on the terrace a couple weeks ahead. Without that, I would have had to sit inside.

I have visited couple of vineyards. Issue I found was in finding one willing to entertain visitors in English. English speaking marketing/sales type of person was not always available on the day I wanted to visit. Even at a larger place, I would be asked to change the visiting hours to accommodate "other" larger group.
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Jul 20th, 2016, 11:43 AM
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As Greg mentions I believe the Osteria La Porta you are looking for is Monticchiello. And he is correct about only a few tables outside. That said - if you can book one of them it will be memorable. We ate there at sundown last year and it easily ranks as one of our top 5 dinners EVER - view is unbelievable and food is on point!

With regards to wineries. It depends on how deep you want to get into things. Salcheto in Montepulciano is very easy to visit. It is large, organic with a great tasting room and wine tour - they offer tours throughout the day and reservations are generally not needed.

This past year we went to San Polino - producers of a Brunello which scored 100pts from Wine Spectator (2010 vintage). The winery is hard to find and very small but was a unique experience. We spent about two hours walking through the vineyard and production area (in the basement of their home). It is all family run and following the visit we spent around 90 minutes tasting wine and talking about life with the owners as we ate some of their home grown olives. Reservations would be needed for this. Wife of the owner is from England so speaking in English was no problem.

Another good option is to visit the Fortezza in Montalcino which would give you the opportunity to try a wide range of Brunello producers while sampling food. If there were any wines you loved you could always try to schedule a visit.
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Jul 20th, 2016, 01:32 PM
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If you want to see the iconic Tuscan cypress lined meandering roads on rolling hills, Monticchiello is in the middle of them. At the time of my visit, I did not see any large organized tour groups. I suspect Monticchiello was way too small to accommodate mass tourism ... yet.
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Jul 20th, 2016, 02:13 PM
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This past March I visited Castello di Ama in Gaiole in Chianti. The wine tour has to be booked in advance. This is a small winery, very charming with delicious wine. They also have modern art installations all over the property which are included in the tour.

There was no problem with English being spoken, the woman who took us around was German and spoke perfect English.

They also have a very good restaurant where I had a delicious lunch.
This place was recommended to me by an Italian friend who is a sommelier.

www.castellodiama.com/en/
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Jul 20th, 2016, 02:47 PM
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Re wineries, if you're into wine, then think about what are your favorites wines from the Montepulciano area, and consider trying to visit the wineries where those wines are produced. You may need to ask your hotel to help you set up visits.

About 15 years ago (yes a while ago), my husband visited several such wineries, but in the Montalcino area, and had some very special visits (I was horseback riding while he was drinking) to Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona, Biondi Santi, and Casanova dei Neri.
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Jul 22nd, 2016, 03:21 PM
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Thanks for the great feedback! You are correct about La Porta, I mistakingly wrote it was in Pienza.

Phaddix- We're actually staying at the winehouse at Salcheto! Very excited about this part of our trip.

We live in Toronto and are very familiar with the wines produced in Niagara but we haven't ventured too far away from them. We're hoping this trip will open our eyes to all the different Italian Vineyards.
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Jul 22nd, 2016, 03:26 PM
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What is the etiquette when visiting wineries? I know that they give you free tours so you will buy their wine but what happens if we don't like it enough to purchase it? What if we just want to taste wines in the area? I am almost tempted to go to wineries that charge for the tastings so we're not obligated if we don't love it.
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Jul 22nd, 2016, 03:44 PM
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I don't think there is any pressure to buy wine, if you don't like it, don't buy it.
Winery tours are done a bit differently in Italy than the ones I have toured in North America, all three wineries I toured on my last trip to Italy (March) had to be booked in advance for the tour and there was a charge for each one of them, ranging from 25 euro to 65 euro.
I didn't feel any pressure to buy but certainly did buy at Castello di Ama which I mentioned above, as I loved their wines.
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