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Wine tasting in Tuscany--enoteca or winery?

Wine tasting in Tuscany--enoteca or winery?

Aug 10th, 2012, 08:17 AM
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Wine tasting in Tuscany--enoteca or winery?

We will be spending a week the end of October in Tuscany. Wine will not be the focus of our stay but we do want to visit Chianti, Montalcino and Montepulciano and do some wine tasting.

I'd rather not do a tour at each winery and most of the research I've done seems to indicate that a reserved tasting includes a tour. Also, we would rather stay away from the wineries that are on the tour bus route.

I'm not sure when the harvest will happen so I wonder how busy most of the small vineyards will be the third week of October to give tastings.

Should our first stop in towns be the TI, would they have a listing of wineries with degustation hours or should we just select an enoteca that serves the local wines? We have never used wine shops for wine tasting but is that the way it's done in Italy?

When we were in Umbria we did an orgainized full day wine tour but I prefer not to spend one or two full days with a wine tour group on this trip. Thanks for any comments or suggestions. Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Aug 10th, 2012, 09:17 AM
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Ciao Deborah: in my experiance in those areas you mentioned,(i have been there numerous times as my brother-in-law had a home near Siena) the enotecas will not offer you much in way of tastings, and most will make you feel obligated to buy. However, in Montalcino, there are several wine bars and ostorias that do wine tastings. a must is the Fortress there , nice wine bar inside with tastings.and also is http://www.grottadelbrunello.it one of my favorit wineries is http://www.avignonesi.it/en , please do yourself a favor and book a tour there. in Chianti visit http://www.volpaia.com , they offer wine tastings without tour, but the tour is worth is, visit the town..
let me know if you would like more suggestions.
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Aug 10th, 2012, 09:45 AM
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here is another worth looking at, you can do tastings without tour,i found them very nice here on my visit once on the way near Montalcino, it is a small winery. http://www.destinationcasali.com/winery.php?page=tours also is http://www.ricasoli.it/ this is worth a stop!!!
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Aug 13th, 2012, 07:20 AM
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Tesana, Thank you very much for the helpful information. I'm going to research the links you've provided. I'm glad you mentioned Montalcino because that is where I'd like to find an Enoteca. Deborah
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Aug 14th, 2012, 04:38 AM
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your welcome , let me know if i can give you any more ideas. in Chianti region, visit the actual towns of Radda, Volpia, and Castellina . Castellina in Chianti is small,great view. some nice little stores and enotecas. eat at Tre Porte there, here is site: http://www.ristoranteinchianti.com/
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Aug 14th, 2012, 05:03 AM
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The list of wineries from tne TI should tell you whether they offer tastings, tours, etc. We just drove into wineries that offered tastings in Chianti, small wineries, beautiful locations, no appointments needed.
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Aug 14th, 2012, 08:24 AM
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Tesana, you've given me a good idea of the towns to visit in Chianti region, thanks.

Happy, we'll be sure to stop at the TI in one of the Chianti towns, I was hoping there would be a list of visitable wineries for tastings. Thanks, Deborah
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Aug 14th, 2012, 08:54 AM
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DeborahAnn: here is the best site for a list : http://www.chianticlassico.com/en/aziende/

i would actually plan your visits to the actual wineries, yes you can just drive into wineries, but if they to not have a "Cantina" or Enoteca on site, you are just going to waste time driving up to the estate. you can get overwelmed with them.
also there is an Etruscan Tomb just out side of Radda in Chianti , as well as some WW II history there.
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Aug 14th, 2012, 09:29 AM
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Tesana, thank you so much, I feel like I have a direct line through you to all things Chianti!!

I had been on that website previously and found it a little confusing but after a second look it's wonderful. I clicked on the tasting symbol and now see how many possibilities there are.

If I plan carefully maybe we can tweak more time for the Chianti region,

Thanks again, Deborah
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Aug 14th, 2012, 10:32 AM
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If you want a view while tasting in Montalcino, Enoteca Osticcio has great views.
http://www.osticcio.it/

The fortezza in Montalcino probably has more tasting selections, but not the views while tasting. If the weather is nice, you can sit in the fortezza courtyard.
http://www.enotecalafortezza.com/

If you want a restaurant with a view in the Chianti area:
http://ristorodilamole.it/en/restaur...e-chianti.html

>>>I'm not sure when the harvest will happen so I wonder how busy most of the small vineyards will be the third week of October to give tastings.<<<

Many small vineyards don't have tastings. Many larger vineyards require appointments.
kybourbon is online now  
Aug 14th, 2012, 12:49 PM
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>>>Many small vineyards don't have tastings. Many larger vineyards require appointments.<<<

Kybourbon, that be the problem!! I'd rather not be in a large, less personal, tasting room surrounded by tour groups. I'd like to taste and talk about the wine without a walking tour of the winery. Thanks for the suggestions in Montalcino.

I received a very welcoming email from a winery in Montepulciano that can be found at our favorite wine store. I guess we will combine a winery visit with a stop at an enoteca for our day in southern Tuscany. Thanks again, Deborah
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Aug 14th, 2012, 01:47 PM
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Tuscany isn't Napa. Many of the small vineyards are more working farms without tastings or tours. There are more tasting rooms than there were a few years ago, but not all of them are "drop in".

Here's a list from the Montepulciano tourism website (I prefer Montalcino's Brunellos over Montepulciano's Vino Nobile).
http://www.prolocomontepulciano.it/altre-cantine

There are several wine stores with tastings on the main street in Montepulciano so you can do a bit of tasting while wandering around the town.

The food is good at Osticcio if you want to snack and taste. They don't close mid-afternoon like many places in Montalcino. The Brunello flights are cheaper at the Fortezza, but then you don't have the killer views. If you click on visita on Osticcio's website, you can see some of the view.
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Aug 14th, 2012, 02:32 PM
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We have visited and enjoyed both. A winery tour is more interesting and you get a wider variety to taste. They usually serve small snacks to accompany the wine. We have enjoyed several wineries in the Chianti area - we especially enjoyed Vingnamaggio near Greve in Chianti for its lovely grounds and gardens and very nice tasting. However, we also visited some enoteca in Montalcino specifically to taste brunellos. We especially liked La Fortezza.
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Aug 14th, 2012, 02:48 PM
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kybourbon, thanks for the links and the comparison to Napa--We loved our times in Napa and Sonoma and that was what I expected Tuscany to resemble. Now I'll just change my wine tasting mind set and enjoy whatever happens. Deborah
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Aug 14th, 2012, 02:55 PM
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We have a place in Gaiole in Chianti and we have been in the wine or food business for years. We also have a great restaurant and winery list for our renters.

Most of the wineries listed do not have "tour busses" but you can look at the web sitse and see what they provide.

The list is long but good and I will happily send it to you via email. My email is [email protected]
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