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Tasty Tuscany Trails

Greetings!

I will be in Tuscany in early September, so I am starting my food and wine plans now. This will be my first trip to Tuscany, not to Italy, but I am not real knowledgable on Italian wines.

I think I will spend a few days in Venice first, rent a car, then head to my "home base" in Loro Ciuffenna (Arezzo). I will have a car and will be within an hour of all the terrific cities and towns for great food and wine. We are in a great location.

Any "must see" or "must try" ?
Anyone been tasting on the Chianti Wine Trail recently ...in the past few years?

I am open to experiencing high brow to low brow....we are pretty "laid back" folks and don't like to rush around, are not "fussy", appreciate great views, and prefer wandering around rather than being on a guided tour. However, I am a bit concerned about wine tasting and driving, so I would like to look into a wine tour for "a bigger tasting day" or maybe just hiring a driver if we need to hit more than 2 tasting rooms in a day :/

All advice is welcome!

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  1. Try the winery and estate Monterinaldi in Radda or Restaurant Lamole outside Greve. Both terrific.Gives you a chance to check out the beautiful scenery.

    1 Reply
    1. re: patmolloy

      Terrific!
      We were thinking about attending the chianti Classico wine festival in Greve. Have you ever attended that, patmolloy?
      It looks like fun, albeit a bit of a more crowded atmosphere than what we usually care for.

    2. Be aware that many (if not most) wineries in Italy do not have a tasting room with dedicated staff to accommodate drop-in visitors, as you would find in Napa/Sonoma. You should try to make appointments at the wineries you are planning to visit. A large winery like Banfi is likely an exception to that norm.

      Also know the Enoteca Italiana is in Siena, where you can taste wines from a wide variety of Tuscan wineries and from the rest of Italy.

      4 Replies
      1. re: DavidT

        Yes. I understand I need to make plans! I am interested in the minivan and driver thang....

        Have you been to Enoteca Italiana? I saw that it has like ...over a thousand wines! I am not sure where I would start.....I am trying to "bone up" on Italian wines before I go.

        There will be lots of italian food and wine tastings at sedimental's casa this summer...prepping for the trip!

        1. re: sedimental

          Here is a recent thread on the Italy discussion board about visiting wineries in Tuscany.

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9130...

          1. re: DavidT

            Also be aware that a number of Tuscan wineries have a tasting room in a village/town nearby rather than it their winery. In addition, there are some villages that have tasting rooms (enotecas) where you can sample wines from a number of wineries in the area.

      2. Hi, sedimental:

        I suggest you include Avignonesi on your drives. Their Vin Santo is legendary and very expensive. They offer a a good tour and fine dining wine-paired lunch on the estate, which is excellent. When I was there, I believe lunch included some Vin Santo, or perhaps at a greatly reduced price.

        I also have a soft spot for Contucci on the Piazza Grande in downtown Montepulciano. The head winemaker there, Adamo, is a stitch.

        If you make it to Montepulciano, a highlight is always to duck into the Mazzettis' copper store, Bottega del Rame. Serious cookware, and serious eye candy abounds.

        There is an enoteca on the main square in Cortona that is excellent, although its name escapes me.

        Have Fun,
        Kaleo

        1 Reply
        1. I'll answer the tourist side of this question. I too will be in Tuscany in September, but for the second time.

          Must see - and I skipped them the first time, are Florence and Lucca. The other three must see's are Pisa, San Gimignano and Siena.

          1 Reply
          1. re: collioure

            Yes, we will be within easy distance to all. I might skip Pisa, I think I have been there as a kid, but I was a nomad..so...who knows.
            I had not planned on Lucca....?

          2. Badia a Coltibuono in Gaiole in Chianti is a spectacular place. They make wine and olive oil, and also have cooking classes. It is also a B&B. One of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. And the wine is tasty, too!

            1 Reply