Florence Area Wine Tours?
OK, done the research ... really got me nowhere... We are going to the Florence area for a week (staying in a castle outside the city - Castello di Montegufoni) and been looking at booking winery tours, 1 or 2 days worth. The internet is FILLED with offer and tour guides who promise the world of wine....
To the point, any recommendations? Have you taken any of these tours?
i can heartily recommend http://www.tuscan-wine-tours.com/ - caveat: i know Rebecca the owner of the company personally and she is a great wine professional. I think she now rarely holds the tours herself and I don't know any other employees of the company; but knowing her professionalism, I am sure they are just as good, too.
This might not be a solution for you, and you don't say whether you'll be driving a rental car, but I'll tell you what my husband and I did when we visited Tuscany a few years ago. We had a copy of the book "A Traveller's Wine Guide to Italy" which has descriptions of the wines and many wine producers of Italy, and information about their hours and the tours/visits they offer. We arranged our own winery tours, some with small producers, some with the very large ones, and we were very happy with our visits.
The other thing I did when our trip was in the planning stages, was to chat with the folks at my local wine store, who have close relationships with many wine producers, most of them relatively small. They arranged a visit for us with one of the wine producers whose wines I buy frequently. We were welcomed like old friends and had an extraordinary "up close and personal" visit with the owner and his wife, which ended with us sipping vin santo on their back porch, watching the sun set over the vineyards.
My point is that sometimes independent travel can work out as well as, or even better than, organized tours.
Thank you - yes, I prefer the smaller tour visits compared to a ' 'cattle call' - we have a rental car but didn't really want to drive ourselves - we have 'hired a driver / tour guide' while in Napa valley - that worked out very well - that person also set up tours/visits with small wineries. Didn't know what was available in Tuscany ..... All I've seen is the 'big tour' operators