Wine Tasting in Tuscany

Apr 20th, 2004, 04:57 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 128
Aine :
There's a few I would return to. The wineries I choose to visit usually offer more then Da Vino. It may be the surronding countryside, position on a hill over a valley, type of structure, history, art, then the vino.
I do a lot of tastings at enotecas and always at meal time, rarely getting the same wine twice in order to taste as many as posible.
My favorites for total experience in Tuscany so far. There's the grand daddy of all Chianti's, Ricasoli, the family owners of Brolio and Castello Brolio, south of Gaiole. Beautiful castello over looking hills and valleys, very famous winery/castello. The tastings are in their complex, kinda of across the street from the castello. Variety of wines, no charge unless you want the more exclusive ones. You can walk the castello grounds, take tours inside a small portion of the castello. There is a independent Osteria on the grounds, very good food, good views. Brolio is a great place to watch sunsets, either watching the sun go down in the hills or watching the color changes of the castello as the sun reflects off of it.
Just a about 7km away is another property owned by the Ricasolis, Cacchiano. This is more of a fortress structure then castello, but very imposing and interesting stone work. It supposedly is on the 2nd highest hill in Chianti. Again great for sunsets. You can walk around the giant structure with great views all around. The people woking in the tasting rooms were some of the nicest enountered on that trip. Besides tasting we conversed for a few hours since they spoke english very well.
Then there is the Antinori estate that makes up Badia Passignano, which is still a active Abbey. Again astounding views, great buildings, the abbey opens it's doors on Sundays for tours of the art works inside. Antinori runs a good osteria there and in Florence. This and Brolio are must see's in my estimation. Passignano is more towards Panzano. Then there's Volpia, a medival hamlet that has been entirely converted to a winery a deli, cafe, resturant, and a few apartments.
Again situated with a commanding view, with great hiking trails surronding it.
Volpia is near Radda.
Badia Coltibuono, near Gaiole, offers many things and is run by the famous chef Lorenza Di Medici & her husband the viniculturist (spel). There is a villa/fortress, church, resturant at the main complex, again great views.
The wine tasting is at the bottom of the hill nearby, a fee if I remember correctly now. This is a A+ site for Budman. The tasting is held in a shop with a lot of retail products, Budman can taste Da Vino and his wife can shop.
Just outside of Castellina is the Fonterutoli estate, another medival hamlet converted to a winery with resturant, apartments and so forth. Views are pretty, not as high in the hills as the previous, more of a rolling landscape. Didn't pay for tastings as I bought a few bottles that day for the farmhouse we were staying at. Staff was very warm & friendly.
There's more but I'm out of time. I'll respond later about the locations in southern Tuscany. The book I mentioned will give you a very accurate description of whats out there. There is another book which I can't recall the name & is presently borrowed, I'll get the title. It's not a guide but a descriptive narrative of Chianti and it's charm & beauty.
As for Budman; wine taste,likes & dislikes are always subjective or relative to ones own taste. Of the wineries I just mentioned, I enjoyed the Antinori's, Fonterutoli's and Coltibuono's the most. In fact the Osteria at Brolio recommended the Fonterutoli's over the Brolio's, possibly a business relantionship I think anyways.
As some wino once said " like what you drink and drink what you like."
Lorenzi is offline  
Apr 20th, 2004, 05:11 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 281
Lorenzi: Wow! what fabulous info. Printing it out now to add to my stuff to bring. Thanks so much!
Aine is offline  
Apr 20th, 2004, 01:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 45
thanks for everyone's info. this was what i was looking for in my thread posted as touring chianti, guess i was not detailed enough. everyone keep the info coming.
Hopehana is offline  
Apr 20th, 2004, 06:44 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 227
Lorenzi - Thanks for the detailed response to this post! My husband and I are heading to Europe in May and I have been struggling with what winery to visit (Chianti region). We have never been to a winery, so I am curious...For your favorites you mentioned, did you get to see the cellars and/or learn how wines are made? Thanks!
Tweeter is offline  
Apr 20th, 2004, 09:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 192
On my first experience with rte 222, I got lost and wound up somewhere deep in Chianti Classico near Rada. There we saw a small castle and a winery - Castello di Monterinaldi. Luckily I hadn't read this thread at the time, so I was not aware that one may be charged for tasting or that one needs to phone ahead. Well, their tasting room is open during business hours (watch out for the numerous Italian bank holidays) and the tasting is free. I wouldn't have mentioned them had I not regarded their Chianti Classico Reserva as one of the best I've ever had, second only to Fonterutoli's (which was mentioned earlier on this thread). Actually, the area is relatively small and one can drive from one location to another in a short time provided one is equipped with a detailed map of the side roads (which you may get, as you've guessed by now, from the nice people at monterinaldi) :
Eli is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2004, 06:56 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 128
Tweeter : The only one that I did the complete tour of was Volpia. It was rather good & interesting. They take you from building to building showing you the processes. Since there all in teh same hamlet it adds a lot to the overall experience. I believe Fonterutoli does a full tour also. You can check their web site.
Lorenzi is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2004, 01:06 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 219
Lorenzi, when I read you posting it brought back wonderful memories as we also visited Volpia. We were frankly lost and ended up in Volpia by mistake but it was our good fortune. We tasted some wine, bought a couple of bottles of wine and some wonderful olive oil. We then wandered over to the little coffee shop, visited with the owner and ended staying in town having dinner at the restuarant across the plaza from the coffee shop. A really good meal, nice house wine and all the while sitting outside overlooking the vineyards stretching out beyond. Why am I in the office and not there now? Thanks for the reminder!
rlbplf is offline  
Mar 5th, 2005, 10:33 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 98
What a great thread. There is a group of 10 including my husband and myself travelling to Italy next month(April). We will be staying in Florence for 4 days, and then driving to Chianti and staying in a villa for 7 days. We are all so very excited as we have not visited Italy before. We did France the last 3 years so now it is Italy's turn. My husband is in the wine business in Napa, California so this is mostly a wine trip. Thanks soo very much for all the information on the wineries. We are all looking forward to it very much.

Phyllis1 is offline  
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