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Tuscan wineries to tour....advice please!

Tuscan wineries to tour....advice please!

Aug 29th, 2007, 08:59 AM
  #1  
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Tuscan wineries to tour....advice please!

We're in Tuscany for a week and are looking for insight to narrow down these wineries/tours....

Fattoria dei Barbi
Villa Vignamaggio (gardens & villa tours)
Altesino
Antinori-Badia a Passignano (Monastery)
Avignonsi-Le Cappezzine
Volpaia

Any others to add? (we're interested in the smaller "mom/pop" or "old world" operations)

Thank you.

adventureseeker is offline  
Aug 29th, 2007, 12:10 PM
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We stayed in Volpaia for a week in June and visited several wineries including the one in Volpaia. Volpaia's tour was very well done with a nice tasting afterwards. The owners also produce olive oil and vinegar so you get to see some of this in addition to the wine. Try this website for some other ideas www.chianticlassico.com. You didn't mention where you are staying in Tuscany. You will have time to visit Montalcino for some brunello and rosso.
rlbplf is offline  
Aug 29th, 2007, 01:17 PM
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I guess my first question/response is, "How many winery tours do you want to do?" Except for possibly Volpaia, all will require reservations to taste or tour. You can try any of them now by buying at a local wine merchant but visiting to tour requires setting aside time and making arrangements.

Also you have named wineries that make different wines: Barbi & Altesino are brunello; Vignamaggio, Antinori/Badia, & Volpaia are primarily chianti; and Avignonesi is vino nobile and rosso. All are a fair distance apart. What is your preference?

I always recommend Le Cantine in Greve where you could sample all of these and even get info on contacts and locations. Likewise for brunellos and rosso would be the Fortezza in Montalcino i.e. tastings are available along with info.

As to "smaller 'mom/pop' or 'old world' operatios--they exist of course, but dropping in on them requires patience, luck and a little planning. I like to sample at the larger enotecas and then get info from them or a TI, then try to make contact to ensure some chance of tasting or touring. Its not like tasting rooms in the States--much more low key and personal. Personally, I try to be careful I'm not imposing, but there is "thrill" in the hunt! Good luck an Cin Cin! Paul
macanimals is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 04:10 AM
  #4  
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Thank you both.

Mac,

I appreciate the education of the wines produced. I had checked out Le Cantine and while, at first, thought it was more commercialized... their "self serve" system is intriguing. We're going to be covering alot of territory in Tuscany (a day trip or two in Chianti, but concentrating mainly in Montalcino/Montepulciano/Pienza), so our itineraries will revolve around the wineries we select. We're aware that the style of wineries we're interested in require advance appointments which we'll make a week prior to our proposed visit. You do bring up an excellent point about the balance of visiting a winery vs. imposing.

I suppose we're looking for at least one or two that have the "quintessential tuscan winery experience" where the winemakers' familes have been producing wine for years and years...and maybe we'll get some great stories out of them! So far, of my list I think that Fattoria dei Barbi may fit the bill.

How many? I'd say that maybe 3-4 wineries (for the experience) and we'll hit the enotecas in the towns to really sample a variety.

Grazie!
adventureseeker is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 04:59 AM
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Mac,

Any info on these 2.....
Tenuta Badia a Coltibuono and Castello di Verrazzano?
adventureseeker is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 09:31 AM
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I drove by Castello Di Verrazzano a couple of years ago but their hours did not fit my travel. I have visited their Cantinetta in Florence--nice. www.verrazzano.com
Badia a Coltibuono has a nice website www.coltibuono.com but I have not visited them yet-they are out of the way. I understand they do cooking classes as well.

I've visited Volpaia and think it is a very unique village and setting with getting there being half the fun. I liked the food and their wines. I've also visited Barbi and we found the tour interesting and a good intro. People will differ as to their wines but it is a good presentation, very close to Montalcino and accessible.

Avignonesi might be another which fits your interest in "old world family " operations. While much larger than a "mom/pop" outfit, I believe they have been around a very long time, have diverse vineyard locations, make several styles of wine and take it all pretty seriously. I think arrangements to tour can be made in their offices at the bottom of Montepulciano.

BTW-We're returning to this area soon with one week in Montepulciano. I've been enjoying your questions and research so keep firing away. We leave Saturday, Sept. 1. Ciao Paul
macanimals is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 09:57 AM
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My husband and I did a tour with lunch at Castello di Verrazzano a couple of years ago and it was wonderful! I highly recommend it.
sherhatfield is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 10:01 AM
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We visited both the Avigonesi and Castello di Verrazzano. Avigonesi was a bit more low key, but the grounds and chapel were just lovely.

At Verrazzano, we did the tour of the vineyard and the "light lunch" afterwards...an absolutely delightful time.

Lorac1127 is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 10:04 AM
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One more comes to mind. Ciacci Piccolomini was highly recommended to us, but they were closed the days we were in the area.

Be sure to e-mail whichever vineyard you choose to make a reservation. When we were visiting the area, there was a wine expo going on and may of the vineyards were closed just the days we were in the area.

Good Luck!

Lorac1127 is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 10:21 AM
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I just typed "Tuscan Wineries" in the search box and came up with 38 responses. I'm sure not all would be pertinent to your question, but many would be. It might be of help with your planning to check it out.
Giovanna is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 10:45 AM
  #11  
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Thank you all.

Mac, a huge thank you for your insight. Please post your trip report when you return....as I'll be looking for it. Maybe you'll have some new experiences that we'll need to check out!

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