If you’re on the search for a tipple in Tuscany, then you won’t be searching long before you come across some of the world’s finest reds, whites and rosés. Wine to Tuscany is like gondolas to Venice, and just as those artisanal boats flow along the canals so does wine from the Tuscan countryside where the rolling hills are smattered with wineries and vineyards.
In this specific region of Italy, the cultivation of wine has been a part of the economy ever since the Etruscans took root because the landscape and climate prove ideal for harvest. You should expect some of the world’s finest selection as the grapes are grown, maintained and harvested in an environment where it never gets too dry or too wet. And you can find this calibre of wine throughout the entirety of vast Tuscany.
The Chianti region near Florence is home to the tradition of Chianti Classico, and classy restaurants and wineries to go with its distinguished taste. While the Super Tuscan region and wineries line the Tuscan coast with barrels of contemporary taste and new-age techniques for the more daring wine connoisseur. Or head to Montepulciano for a taste of nobility and the savoury hues of dry, full-bodied vintage red.
No matter where you go in this Renaissance region, there will be a winery to explore and wine to taste. Plus, incredible pairings with Italian food. So, are you in the mood for a Brunello di Montalcino, Carmignano or Chianti Classico?
If you’re looking for the quintessential Tuscan tipple, then this newly established Antinori winery in the Chianti region has to be your first stop. The Antinori family name is synonymous with wine, Italy and tradition. And you can see this legacy in every corner of the winery. From the actual wine to the wineries concept and atmosphere. The winery perches above the surrounding countryside and looks out over vineyards growing the typical Sangiovese grapes of the region. For the best views, dine at the rooftop Rinnuccio 1180 restaurant that offers a 360 view of the entire estate. And the rest of the winery, including architecture and location, is an ode to those very grapes, Tuscany and Italian culture.
Antinori Chianti Classico is a celebration of the marriage between innovation and tradition.
You can find Avignonesi in the Montepulciano region for a glass of Vin Santo or Vino Nobile. And while this is one of the country’s oldest wineries, this winery is known for its innovation and modernity as it focuses on organic farming, sustainability and biodynamic approach winemaking. Their motto says it all: “Healthier wines for healthier people, but also a healthier land and a healthier environment to pass on to future generations.”
Badia a Coltibuon
Badia a Coltibuon has always been a staple in the Chianti region. It has evolved from ancient monastery to an entire experience for those interested in the production of wine, olive oil and other naturally grown food products. Visiting Badia a Coltibuon’s estate is an entire experience as you can come for the wine, and stay for the accommodation, pool, cooking school and wine courses.
When you think about the history of the Chianti region and its wine exports, Barone Ricasoli is usually in the conversation since it’s Italy’s oldest estate. Barone Ricasoli will be celebrating its 1,000-year birthday this century. So yes, you could say this winery knows its wines.
You will find this impressive castle somehow hidden under the guise of Tuscany’s beautiful valleys and hills. Depending on the time of the year, it will feel like you’re alone exploring the ancient estate and drinking the finest wines. And beyond just looking for a tipple, you can take tours, participate in drop-in tastings (which are hard to come by in Tuscany), eat in the restaurant or even stay here for a few nights.
It seems as if Capezzana, a winery in the heart of Carignano, has only ever known one thing: wine. According to state archives and a written lease, vines and olives have been cultivated here since at least 804 A.D. Here they produce one of the best sweet wines in the entire world, the Vin Santo, and consistently win awards for their production quality and attention to detail. Plus, if you like a little bit of a history with your wine, then you should know that this winery is also home to the hunting retreat used by the Medici’s, and you can book it as accommodation.
Imagine sipping the most unique tastes of Tuscany along a cliff’s edge that overlooks an idyllic view of turquoise and twinkling sunshine. That’s the experience to expect when you travel to Capo d’Uomo, a small intimate winery situated on the tip of the Argentario peninsula.
This winery has always been run by the Grimaldi family where they dedicate themselves to the Maisto, Africo and a Super Tuscan mix of Merlot, Cabernet and Sangiovese.
At this winery, they celebrate the fusion of red and white grapes for a unique and modern twist to winemaking.
Castello di Ama
Castello di Ama is “a microcosm of wine, art and hospitality.” This winery is situated near Siena where the vineyards spread across the landscape in a flourish, and the estate charms the countryside and nearby villages with its tradition, wealth and prominence.
Here you can sip on tipples of Merlot L’Apparita and impressive Chianti Classicos, while admiring the art installed throughout the property or walking the expansive gardens that both aim to honour the roots of the Renaissance region.
Castello di Nippozano/Frescobaldi
Castello di Nippozano/Frescobaldi can be found in the Chianti Rufina territory situated on a sloping mountain overlooking the beautiful views of the Arno river valley. From the estate, runs the largest vineyards in the entire region.
And Castello di Nippozano/Frescobaldi is just one of the five wineries owned by the Frescobaldi family, a name ingrained in the history of Tuscany and winemaking. For the Frescobaldis, wine is a rite of passage. And you can practically taste their lineage and dedication to the art through their Mormoreto and Montesodi blends.
Castiglion del Bosco
You can find Castiglion del Bosco in Southern Tuscany with views of the Orcia Valley as this estate is actually perfectly placed in the middle of the UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s the perfect place to stay, play a round of golf and sip on Sangiovese-only wines. This resort also offers its own 13th century church, fresco artwork, 2 restaurants, on-wine experts and a truffle forest.
Castiglion del Bosco has everything you need for your idyllic luxurious Italian getaway, and more.
Did you know the direct translation of Col d’Orcia correlates to the hill overlooking the Orcia River? And this is exactly where you will find this winery that’s known for its Pinot Grigio, Sant’Antimo and the popular Brunello.
Nestled into the cosy corners of southern Tuscany, Col d’Orcia is also known for its family feel and old-fashioned vibes, as the Cinzano family strive to create an atmosphere where it feels like you’re sipping some of Italy’s finest wines around your very own dining room table. But instead of your table, it’s a quaint dining room table situated in Col d’Orcia’s tasting room that welcomes all guests to taste the sweet succulence of wine and dedicated organic farming.
Fattoria di Lamole
You can find Fattoria di Lamole outside of Greve cloaked in Mother Nature’s beauty. This little rustic winery in the Chianti region is surrounded by hills, farms and forests of olive trees and oaks. It’s a perfect peaceful escape with a delectable Chianti Classico to go right along with it.
Fattoria La Loggia
Panoramic views of southern Florence await you at Fattoria La Loggia. From this viewpoint, you can sip on wine as you watch the hills roll away into cypress trees, olive trees and vast vineyards.
This view has been around since the 15th century when the Medici’s originally gained ownership of the estate. Just like the view, the actual village is an experience of beauty, wonder and history as its composed of ancient buildings, cellars, art sculptures, towers, stone accents, and even a pool. Fattoria La Loggia embodies its history, the Chianti region heritage and the careful process of winemaking.
Le Macchiole is the perfect place to explore the Super Tuscan wine phenomenon in Tuscany. Here your wine will lap along the curves of your glass as the sea laps at the shores below.
Le Macchiole is a popular destination in Bolgheri, a coastal town that is more relaxed and intimate than most Italian wineries. Here you can try Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon straight from the organic vineyards that this winery harvests from. And be sure to not miss the street art that decorates this winery into a modern Italian jaunt.
Livernano & Casalvento
When you visit the Livernano and Casalvento wine cellar, you’re not only going for the wine, but also the story of Bob Cuillo and Gudrun Cuillo. Their rags to riches story started when they migrated from Bronx, New York to central Tuscany in the Chianti region to restore the old Livernano village.
Soon thereafter, the depleted village and Estrucean hamlet evolved into a country resort, restaurant and award-winning Chianti Classico winery. Although the property is expansive and beautifully intricate, the Cuillos always personally welcome their guests into their winery, history and story.
Rocca di Frassinello
The concept at Rocca di Frassinello is a fusion of two cultures best known for their wines. The overwhelming vastness of the vineyards that provide for this winery are divided the tastes of both Italian and French wine.
And why fuse the two? According to their mission, “The Rocca di Frassinello project was inspired by a very simple idea – or should we say a very simple need: to replicate the model of excellence set in motion by the Castellare di Castellina winery in a new region.” They aim to spread these standards for wine to other parts of the world.
So why not take a trip to the central Maremma area of Tuscany, especially since this estate is open for wine tastings and visits every day of the year. You can go whenever you want for the perfect tipple.
Stepping foot into the Salcheto winery, another staple in southern Tuscany, is like stepping forward through time to the future of innovation and change for harvesting and organic farming. This is one of the first self-sufficient wineries in all of Europe.
What does a self-sufficient winery entail? Salcheto utilises renewable sources and recycled materials to power the cellar and numerous wine tanks that are crucial to the process. Plus, as you the tour estate, you can get an inside look at how all of this operates, while simultaneously expanding your knowledge on some of Italian’s finest wines. Salcheto and the people behind this concept even won the Gamero Rossow Award for Sustainability in 2014 for their efforts towards taking responsibility for the very roots of the region and winemaking. Plus, the unobstructed views of piercing towers and spires in the next town over just add to the atmosphere and experience.
What Else You Should Know About Wineries in Tuscany
Adding a trip to a winery or two to your Tuscan itinerary is crucial, no matter whether you like wine or not. So, here are a few tips that will make your experience even better:
You should always book a tour rather than just showing up. A day’s notice is usually ample notice unless you’re visiting during peak season.
Tours are usually involved and an educational experience that last anywhere from one to two hours. And generally, they will cost about £15 to £20 pounds per person. You’re paying for the wine tasting, an incredibly knowledgeable guide and a better understanding of the art of winemaking. Don’t feel obligated to buy any of the wine after your wine tasting, although it is a nice gesture. If you are looking for a holiday dedicated to becoming a wine connoisseur, or already are one, then be sure to rent a car to hit all of these wineries spread across the Tuscan region. Tuscany is easily navigated!
The Tuscan region of Italy and its wineries are very much like wine – it only gets better with age.
To discover more about Tuscan wineries and the rest of your Italian holiday, check out Italian Breaks for where to go, where to stay and what to do.