Tuscany is a land to be discovered with all your senses: its most authentic soul is revealed among the small villages and cities of art, it slides lightly from the sea to the hills, gives flavor to traditional dishes and gives character to its wines.
Appreciating it means taking the time to see all its faces, its scents, its landscape suggestions: one of the most engaging ways to do it is to treat yourself to a wine tour, a real journey through vineyards and cellars, along the wine routes.
Let's review some of the most evocative.
How a wine tour is structured?
There are as many types as there are people's preferences: it can last a few hours up to a whole week, it can be modulated on several stages or dedicated to several types of wine, but what is never missing in a wine tour is the combination between territory, productions and storytelling.
During an itinerary of this type you can get lost among the rows that mark the passage in the vineyards, stop to enjoy the landscape and resume the journey to reach the productive heart of the wine-growing areas: the cellars.
On foot, by bike or off-road: the possibilities are numerous and all include the accompaniment of a guide who illustrates places, biodiversity and variety of vines cultivated to hold together the red thread that leads from the territory to the final product.
The walk in the nature from which the tour usually starts then leaves room for a more technical visit that brings the wine lovers in the cellar: here you come into contact with two key aspects of production: winemaking and aging.
Every wine tour ends with a tasting of locally produced wines, often paired with local products, cheeses or cured meats, for a real dip in the flavors that summarize the character of each place.
Based on this plot there are many proposals with which the Tuscan wineries tell their wines and production areas.
Let's discover some of the routes between the provinces of Siena and Pisa, lands historically linked to some of the most famous productions of the region: the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, the Brunello di Montalcino and the Vermentino.
Between the Sienese Valdichiana and Val d'Orcia, in the land of Vino Nobile
Characterized by a long winemaking tradition, which dates back to the Etruscan era, the territory that embraces the Valdichiana and Val d'Orcia is the place where the ancient village of Montepulciano stands.
Surrounded by suggestive views and small towns of Renaissance origin, such as Pienza, San Quirico D'Orcia and Borgo Vignoni, the town of Montepulciano is known worldwide for its Vino Nobile, the first in Italy to have received the DOCG denomination.
This area offers to visitors the sight of the old urban centers with large areas cultivated with Sangiovese, which here takes the name of Prugnolo gentile and is the vine at the base of the production of Vino Nobile.
The perfect formula to immerse yourself in this area is the one offered by the Fattoria del Cerro which, in Acquaviva di Montepulciano, opens its doors to Italian and foreign visitors: here you can leave the stress of city life behind and enjoy a few hours of relaxation by booking a visit to the vineyards of the estate riding an e-bike, and perhaps combining a visit to the cellar with tasting to closely observe the processing phases of the precious Vino Nobile, which is produced here in three versions: "Antica Chiusina" Wine Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva DOCG and Nobile di Montepulciano “Silìneo".
Fattoria del Cerro is also perfect to combine a stay in the countryside with the wine tour in Tuscany: art-loving visitors who choose to include the Renaissance villages around Montepulciano in their itinerary will be able, in fact, to stay a few nights at the Relais Villa Grazianella, leaving be enveloped in the magical atmosphere of the eleven rooms overlooking the vineyards of the estate.
Discovering the Brunello valleys
Nestled in the Val d'Orcia Natural Park, the village of Montalcino is closely linked to the fine Brunello.
This DOCG wine, which has brought the name of Montalcino around the world, owes its characteristics to the geographical position of the medieval town and to its particular sun exposure: this privileged condition guarantees the grapes to reach the level of ripeness that is best suited to long aging periods.
In this land so fascinating and rich in naturalistic glimps, the visitor can build his own wine itinerary to discover Brunello starting from La Poderina estate: here, in Castelnuovo dell'Abate, in front of the suggestive Sant'Antimo Abbey, the vast vineyards of the estate represent the perfect setting for an off-road ride in the beautiful landscape of the Tuscan hills to discover the grapes that give life to Brunello.
And it is precisely the Poderina winery that represents the heart of one of the activities that best describe the main production phases: wine lovers and curious people have the opportunity to book a visit with tasting that combines local cold cuts and cheeses with a selection of four wines: Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, also produced with the label "Poggio Abate" Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Rosso di Montalcino DOC and Moscadello di Montalcino DOC.
Also here you can choose to extend your journey by staying in the two apartments that La Poderina makes available to guests.
In the land of Vermentino…
Among the most interesting wine tours to plan in Tuscany there are those dedicated to the Val di Cornia, homeland of Vermentino: here lies the Tuscan Natural Park of Monterufoli, a real natural oasis that alternates thick wooded areas with stretches of Mediterranean scrub.
The natural park is home to numerous plant species and gave its name to a particular horse breed: the Monterufoli pony.
During a walk in the heart of the oasis you can admire suggestive geological formations that attract experts and enthusiasts.
Monterufoli Estate is part of this unique setting, which extends for over a thousand hectares between hills and paths dotted with numerous mineral deposits and thermal springs.
This is the ideal starting point for a walk through the vineyards, to be done without haste, enjoying glimpses and panoramas riding an e-byke, or maybe off-road, and then close the day with a tasting in the winery of the estate, letting oneself be conquered by the aroma and flavor of the territory which here translates into the Vermentino di Toscana IGT or the “Poggio Miniera" Val di Cornia red DOCG.
Monterufoli Estate is also the perfect place to spend an holiday in the silence of unspoiled nature: by choosing to stay overnight in one of the three buildings dedicated to guests, the Mine, the Stables and the Casa delle Guardie, you can enjoy the benefits of a stay regenerating with a view over the valley.
For those who love the combination of wine and nature, Tuscany is the place of the heart, have you already chosen your itinerary?