Drinking wine has gained a lot of popularity over the years and a lot of people are now excellent connoisseurs of the same. Wine tasting is an art and is being widely practiced all over the world. Wineries are conducting specific wine tasting tours and it is a big boom in the travel industry. One of the world’s foremost wine producers is Italy, and the country is home to some of the oldest wine producing regions in the world. And for the same reason, a trip to Italy is never complete without some wine tasting tours thrown in. There are custom made itineraries charted out for these tours and you can select them according to your interest. Known particularly in Italy are the red wines and there are some spectacular wine tasting tours you can take to get the most out of your trip. Listed below are 7 of the best wine tours in Italy.
1. Chianti Classico wine tour
Undeniably, the Chianti Classico wine is as smooth and sophisticated as its name and is one of the best red wines Italy has to offer. Made from the Sangiovese grape, these wines are medium-bodied with firm tannins and medium-high to high acidity. What’s better is the fact that it is made in the extremely beautiful area of Tuscany, surrounded by panoramic views and idyllic villages in every direction. The tour departs from the cultural city of Florence and covers two wineries in a day and aims at understanding the basic concepts of the terroir, how it is made, how to distinguish varieties and much more.
The first stop would be at the medieval town of Castellina where you can roam around the streets shopping for some handicrafts or doing a tasting of Olive Oils and vinegars. Then you would continue the tours through scenic countryside where your tour guide would discuss wine making tips, history of the area and so forth, filling you in on all the important facts about the Chianti wine region. You finally reach the San Casciano winery where you will taken on a guided tour around the cellars and would also be able to taste the wines produced there including a Chianti Classico, a Super Tuscan and a Riserva. The tour then continues on to the next winery, after a short lunch recess where you can taste the specialties of the area and after the final stop at a quaint hill top town or castle, the tour returns to Florence.
2. Montepulciano wine tour
Montepulciano, meaning the mount of politics, is a historical hill top town known as wonderful wine making region of Tuscany. It is like a mini Florence, and for that reason alone it’s worth a visit. The area is known for its wine, Nobile di Montepulciano which is an aged red wine and of excellent quality.
The tour departs from Florence at approximately 9:00 am and arrives at Montepulciano after about 2 hours. The first winery tour will consist of a walk around the gorgeous vineyard, a guided tour of the cellars and finally tasting the spectacular wine produced there. You can then stroll around the medieval streets of Montepulciano, doing some sightseeing and then meet up for lunch at an assigned restaurant. The tour would then continue through the rustic countryside and you can take in all the vineyards that you pass by. You finally arrive at the second winery around 3pm, where you will be able to meet the wine grower who will then show you the techniques of viticulture and explain the process in detail.
3. Montalcino wine tour
This tour will take you through the small hill top town that lies south of Siena and guide you through the wine making process of the famous Brunello di Montalcino. The wine is made from the Brunello grape and is now one of the most famous wines in the world. By law, this wine needs to be aged for four years before it is sold and is made in such a way that it lasts for at least 10 years. After a couple of tastings, vineyard trip and talk with the wine grower, you will then be taken around the town where you can either do more tastings or purchase some vintage Brunellos.
4. Valpolicella wine tour
The word Valpolicella means ‘valley of many cellars’ and is home to some of the most amazing red grapes, rarely found anywhere else in Italy. The wines made from these are unique and tastes as good as it sounds. With so many wineries around the area, you are not limited by choice. But they must visit cellar in the Verona area is the Accordini where the famous Amarone wine is made. You would be taken through the vineyard and winery where you can observe the fascinating heavy work intensive production of the Amarone wines and of course taste some this fabulous wine as well.
5. Barolo wine tour
Barolo, which lies in the northern Italian region of Piedmont, is not that extensive, but the area is breathtakingly beautiful with gentle rolling hills, quaint villages and of course magnificent vineyards. Home of some amazing DOCG wines, this tour is a must for those who want to experience the best of Piedmont’s wine country in a day. The departure for this tour is from Milan and you proceed on to the first winery Serralunga where one can visit the cellars and do some wine tasting. After lunch at a local restaurant you continue the tour passing through different types of vineyards and finally stopping at a second winery where you can relax and do some fine wine tasting before you head back to Milan at around 6pm. You can also opt for your own transportation which would give you more flexibility to check out some more wineries and Barolo itself.
6. Super Tuscans Wine tour
Although not a major wine zone like that of Chianti or Montalcino, the Super Tuscans is more a new style of wine that some wineries have started to produce in Tuscany. There are two major areas that are famous for producing the Super Tuscans. One is the Bolgheri wine tour which will cover some famous wineries and is apt for people closer to Pisa or Volterra and the other is in the Chianti Classico region where again you will be able to visit wineries like Castello di Ama, and Badia a Coltibuono and of course taste some of the amazing and expensive wine. These trips are much more expensive compared to the others and bookings need to be done way in advance.
7. Euganean Hills Wine Tour
The Euganean Hills Wine tour falls under the Veneto wine country region and covers about 72 km of countryside including attractive villages and town and interesting wineries. The climatic and soil condition of the area has given rise to some of the spectacular reds including Cabernet and Merlot and other local varieties. You can spend an entire day in the hills taking in all the natural beauty, strolling around the villages, visiting churches and museums and visiting the wineries for some tasting and a tour of the vineyard. If you are lucky, you will even be able to meet the grower who will be more than happy to give you a guided tour.