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Wine touring in September

We are heading to Italy for 2 weeks in September. We are hoping to do our own wine touring schedule but some vineyards require at least 4 people to book tours. We are only 2. Verona (Amarone region) and Tuscany are the areas we are most interested in doing our own thing. Anyone else out there interested in sharing tours??

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  1. Hello, I am Deborah from Tuscany.
    Here http://www.cheap-tuscany.com you can find some good packages and wine tasting, tours of the hills and wineries in Tuscany and apartments at an affordable price.
    I hope my help will be useful

    1 Reply
    1. re: ylenia

      Thank you Deborah - I will check out the site. I'm sure it will be a really great help!

    2. Hi, When will you be in Tuscany, my wife and I would be interested? We are arriving in Florence Sept 23rd and will be in Tuscany until Oct 2. David

      1 Reply
      1. re: Dijon9955

        Darn, we are planning to arrive about Sept 9th and leave on Sept 15 (or so). Thanks anyways, David.

      2. Just a suggestion - why don't you drive around some of the different vineyards in Tuscany and then you can do it at your own time - many of them are open to the public and do wine tastings. If you go to the Bolgheri region they have a strada di vini for people to follow. I know that the best vineyards I have been to are Volpaia (which has an excellent restaurant); Ricasoli/Brolio near Gaiole in Chianti, Fonterutoli near Castellina; then you have the various places near Montalcino and Montepulciano and if you want to try Chianti Rufina then try Selvapiana....hope that gives you some food (wine!) for thought....

        7 Replies
        1. re: LotsC

          Emily Wise Miller's Food Lover's Guide to Florence has recommendations of Chianti and other tuscan vineyards open to visitors .

          1. re: LotsC

            We thought about that, but we don't want to drink and drive..... and a lot of the vineyards require "reservations" for tours, and some need 4 to make such a reservation. That being said, perhaps I need to differentiate between a tour and a tasting! I think I need to email some of the vineyards again...

            I will definitely check out the strada di vini.

            We have now revised - we are going to the Verona area - for Amarones;
            Also to Piedmont - for the 3 B's
            To Reggio and Parma for Parmesan
            To Tuscany for some Super Tuscans.....

            We will only have 10 to 12 days.....What to do! Reds are definitely the focus, I want to save the best (Amarones!) for mid to last (around my bday), but I also know the wineries don't do much on weekends.

            Any suggestions are greatly welcome!
            Thanks all in advance!

            1. re: Food on the brain

              Hi Food on the brain

              Have you ever tasted Amarone Classico Valpolicella DOC Campo Masua?
              Possibly one of the best ever.

              Piedmont 3 B's? Beer, Biscuits... ?

              Ciao
              Irene

              1. re: Irene65

                Ahhh....yes.....Amarones are our favourite - we are saving them until the end of our trip. We have visits to Bertani, Tomassi, and Tedeschi scheduled, and have 3 days in the Veneto area. Mmmm......

                We have never tasted Campo Masua products, but the Amarones are definitely our faviourites.

                We are now in Piedmont, at Cantine Ascheri, and have been exploring the 3 B's for the last couple days. We have determined that Barbera's do little for us, as they are so light. Barberesco's are good, but still not as enjoyable. As I sit, hubby is napping, while I have a glass of Barolo and check on suggestions for Parma, our next stop. We are in Bra, it is raining, and all is right with the world after a morning and early afternoon in the town of Barolo.......mmmmm.......

                1. re: Food on the brain

                  Its been a while since we could afford a lot of Barbarescos and Barolos, but when they were less pricy we tended to enjoy the barbarescos more. Dont know if the vinification methods have changed a lot in the last 20 years - these nebbiolo wines tended to be light and sort of loose in structure, similar to a red burgundy/pinot noir. We have always enjoyed their flavors and textures very much. You may find some "lesser" nebbiolo wines you also enjoy at a better price point. is good to have your reports.

                  But what and where are you eating????

                  1. re: jen kalb

                    There is Nebbiolo grow in the Langhe that is bottled neither as Barolo or Barbaresco. It bottled and sold simply as Nebbiolo delle Langhe or Nebbiolo d'Alba and some of it can be quite good. It typically sells for 1/2 to 2/3 of what a Barolo or Barbaresco might sell for.

                  2. re: Food on the brain

                    Barolo....YES
                    Barolo DOCG Rocche
                    Producer Aurelio Settimo, Cuneo area

            2. You will find a number towns in Piemonte have collective "enotecas," where you can sample the wines of a good number of the smaller wineries from the area in one place. Many wineries in Piemonte (and elsewhere) in Italy are too small to handle any visitors, either by appointment or on a drop-in basis.

              There is an especially good enoteca in the castle outside Grinzane Cavour. You can also tour the residence of Count Cavour while you are there.

              Two wineries worth visiting in Piemonte are Renato Ratti (for its small museum of wine making equipment) and Fontanafredda (for the former hunting lodge & residence it occupies).

              There is also a large, central enoteca featuring the wines of many Tuscan wineries in Siena.

              10 Replies
              1. re: DavidT

                Thanks so much! I will look into all this!

                1. re: DavidT

                  Just wondering, can you describe the tasting format at the central enotecas - say that in Siena ?

                  1. re: jen kalb

                    Here is an link to a writeup on the enoteca at Grinzane Cavour. I was there 8-10 years ago. I remember tastings of a wide assortment of wines from a range of wineries being available for a nominal cost.

                    http://www.torrebarolo.com/blog/2010/...

                    1. re: DavidT

                      Here is a link to the enoteca in Siena. I have not been there. It looks to be a "National" enoteca, featuring wines from all over Italy, not just Tuscany.

                      http://www.enoteca-italiana.it/w2d3/v...

                      1. re: DavidT

                        Link to the website for the enoteca at Grinzane Cavour:

                        http://www.castellogrinzane.com/

                        1. re: DavidT

                          wondering what the format is at these places - do you pay for tastings?

                          1. re: jen kalb

                            If you click thru to the National Enoteca in Siena and then click on Services, you will see they offer 3 glasses of wine in various flights for 11 euros.

                            As I mentioned before, I recall the enoteca at Grinzane Cavour does charge a fee per glass/taste. I don't know what the current rate is.

                            1. re: DavidT

                              thanks, sorry for the oversight appreciate the clarification

                              1. re: jen kalb

                                I've been to the National Enotec a before and it is a huge disappointment and really not worth your time.....a good enoteca in Siena would be the Enoteca i Terzi...much better.

                                1. re: LotsC

                                  Thanks all, we are looking forward to checking out some of these enotecas. We have some winery visits scheduled, and will likely do the rest by enoctecas. Has anyone been to the Wine Bank at the Agenzia di Polenza and the University of Gastronomy, as well as the Restaurant Guido?

                2. First let me tell you that you are coming to Tuscany during my FAVORITE time of year! The heady aroma of ripe grapes in the vineyards is intoxicating. Lots of good things to eat during that time, too (figs, chestnuts, porcini, TRUFFLES...Mmmm...).

                  While many tours are available, you may also wish to rent a car and drive. The Tuscan hills are gorgeous and the trip will be scenic, I promise.

                  Definitely go to Montepulciano (home of Nobile di Montepulciano), Chianti Classico (home of Chianti Classico and the oldest region of the Chianti), and of course, Montalcino (home of Brunello). You will have such a good time.

                  A presto!
                  xoxo, C