The watchword is experience: the evolution of wine tourism is a story to tell between tastings, excursions in the vineyards and full immersion in the territory, an approach that pushes travel trends into a whole new fruitive dimension. From this point of view, those who travel the wine roads in search of new proposals know that the cellar is not only the beating heart of the wine experience, but above all the starting point for experiencing the product starting from the places where it is born, a way to breathe that productive and cultural humus that gives each bottle its uniqueness. This is why Italians increasingly request travel packages that include a visit to the cellar with an overnight stay. On this front, Tuscany, a land of fine wines loved all over the world, is full of production sites that offer this formula. But what is a wine tour? Let's find out together!
Wine tourism: data in Italy
Those who love to travel also know that the time available to get in touch with a territory is never enough: in the short span of a weekend or at most a week it is possible to grasp some salient features of the places visited, but when it is time to leave we often have the desire to return to discover everything that has escaped during the journey. In these cases it is not just a question of how much time we spend in a place, but how we use it: what is needed is quality time. This is precisely the philosophy behind the increasingly popular experiential tourism, a "slow" travel formula that focuses on themed itineraries, which offer the priceless opportunity to get in touch with a place in an immediate and authentic way. Wine tourism starts right here and offers a formula that is appreciated both among wine enthusiasts and travel lovers.
The numbers, on the other hand, speak clearly: according to reports from the managing director of Enit, the National Tourism Agency, Roberta Garibaldi, quoting the XVII Report of the Observatory on Wine Tourism (which photographed the national scenario between 2020 and 2021), there are around 14 million tourists who are passionate about wine tours and feed an industry that is worth a total of 2.5 billion euros a year. Confirmation also comes from the latest Coldiretti/lxè Report: 58% of Italians like wine tourism. Italy, with its 415 DOC or DOCG wines, is one of the five favorite destinations for enthusiasts of this type of itinerary, a special top five in which the Bel Paese is in first place. The report, in particular, also provides an overview of the regions that have recorded the highest number of bookings among fans of wine tourism: Tuscany dominates, followed by Lazio, Veneto, Campania and Sicily.
Wineries with overnight stay: the new frontier of tourism
In the wake of this trend, there are an increasing number of wineries that also offer overnight stays, so much so that on the popular Airbnb site, not surprisingly, today there is also the "vineyards" category, a sign that the traditional visit with tasting is now a consolidated model in which are complemented by other forms of entertainment designed to make the most of the places surrounding the wineries.
If the cellar is the ideal place to closely observe the winemaking process and to appreciate the characteristics of the vintages and labels, the new frontier of food and wine-themed holidays has moved between the rows: the vineyards surrounding the production sites, in fact, they are perfect for combining the pleasure of a walk in nature, on foot or perhaps by bike, with the possibility of developing in-depth courses dedicated to the vines and the characteristics of the final product. But there's more: in fact, there are more and more wineries that enhance their outdoor spaces by transforming them into breathtaking locations for banquets or themed events: who has never been conquered by the glamorous and welcoming charm of a dinner or a picnic in the vineyard?
Furthermore, wine is an integral part of the production activities of a region and is deeply rooted in its history and culture, that is why every wine tourism itinerary always includes some stops in the area around wineries and estates, to ensure that the experience on the territory acquires three-dimensionality.
From this point of view, many production realities linked to the main national labels have already declined their offer on this new trend, offering visitors, in addition to the stage in the cellar, real accommodation solutions designed to immerse themselves in a dimension of relaxation in contact with the surrounding nature.
Therefore, following the traces of wine is an increasingly popular activity not only among experts and enthusiasts, but also among travelers looking for a more direct and concrete storytelling, in a word: experiential.
Whether you belong to the first category or the second, it doesn't matter: if you are about to organize your wine itinerary in Tuscany, here are the proposals of Tenute del Cerro not to be missed!
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano in the setting of Villa Grazianella
To discover Vino Nobile, Montepulciano awaits you. Here, in Acquaviva, "Fattoria del Cerro" is ready to welcome you. In the historic wineries of Nobile you can get in touch with this precious production and treat yourself to an unforgettable stay in one of the elegant rooms with a view of the Relais Villa Grazianella. The barrel cellar will reveal all the secrets of Nobile di Montepulciano, produced here as well as in the "Riserva DOCG" version, also in the "Silìneo" and "Antica Chiusina" variants, awarded respectively with the Three Glasses by Gambero Rosso for the 2019 vintage and the Three gold stars of the “Vini di Veronelli" for the 2018 vintage.
The vineyards surrounding the property, to be explored on an e-bike, will tell you about the genesis of the wine, starting from the processing of the Prugnolo Gentile grapes. At the end of a day spent in nature or discovering the art and culture of the area, you can enjoy a dip in the flavors of Tuscan cuisine: pampered by the chef of Villa Grazianella, you will appreciate the combination of typical dishes and Vino Nobile, in a proposal that celebrates simplicity and tradition.
Brunello and Moscadello a stone's throw from Montalcino
Tuscany is also the homeland of Brunello: those who love it know that a stop in Montalcino is a must to discover its peculiarities. Just a few steps from the small village which has been a Unesco World Heritage Site since 2004, stands "La Poderina". Here, in Castelnuovo dell'Abate, the estate is home to an important production center of the "Brunello DOCG": a full immersion in the cellar is the best way to taste it, also in the "Riserva" version, paired with local cold cuts and cheeses. La Poderina also offers the opportunity to appreciate other products such as the "Rosso di Montalcino DOC" and the "Moscadello di Montalcino DOC", a label which together with the "Poggio Abate" received the Three Gold Stars of the Veronelli Guide - both productions for the 2016 vintage.
In line with the most recent trends in wine tourism, La Poderina also offers its guests two apartments to spend a stay dedicated to good wine and nature: between a tasting and a walk to discover the Val D'Orcia it is possible to deepen the knowledge of the native Tuscan vines during an enjoyable off-road tour through the vineyards.
Tuscany is a land to be lived intensely. You can explore it in its most fascinating places, or you can look for its most authentic face along the wine roads and in the cellars with overnight stays: traditions, labels and native vines will tell you about an ancient and fascinating production history. Have you already chosen where to start your trip?