Tour: Italy: Tuscany 5 Nights
Whatever your interest - art, culture, political and religious history, photography, food and wine there's no place like Tuscany. For wine lovers, the region has played a major role in wine making and trade since the Etruscan era 1000+ BC. Time leap forward into the present and the winemakers still respect the traditional ways (most Italians do!) but have become more creative and innovative and thus have begun a new era- these past 20 years - where the wines have improved remarkably, placing them in the highest echelons of world class wines. The foundation for most Tuscan wines is the Sangiovese grape and the Malvasia and Trebbiano whites all of which thrive in undulating hills covering the calcium-rich clays. When blended with other reds such as a Cabernet Sauvignon, the Chiantis take on an elegance, complexity and quality that is superb, And, when you start considering Chianti Classico regions and designations the consensus is that based on the blended grapes, southern Tuscany (Siena) are more full bodied and more complex while those from northern Tuscany show less fruit and more structure. The Supertuscans born of Sassacaia, now elevated to DOC status, and known worldwide by the success of Antinori's Sangiovese 80%/Cabernet Sauvignon 20% blended Tignanello are among the most expensive and extraordinary wines being made in Italy today. When the clone of Sangiovese, Brunello di Monbtalcino, stands alone and is exposed to the cooler and less rainy climate of southern Tuscany (Chianti Classico DOCG region) you have the fullest, richest and smoothest of the Italian reds. Another Sangiovese clone, the Prugnolo grape, produces the richly colored and highly tannic Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, some of which represent their well-deserved DOCG classification while others continue to aspire to the "Noble" name but fall between a Chianti and a Brunello
The Must Sees & Dos
Immerse yourself in Florence the birthplace and center of Renaissance art, architecture and sculpture. Experience the Duomo, the incredible Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia where the statue of David is displayed. Glow in the mesmerizing Tuscan sun and awesome, scenic countryside unchanged since the Renaissance. And, then, sit back and discover the incredible Tuscan food with origins dating back to Medici Renaissance times.
Wineries You May Visit
Properties will be a selection of producers to give the broadest possible experience of the styles of winemaking of each region. Some smaller producers do not speak English. Therefore choice of visits is dependent on guests' ability in Italian language, as well as normal constraints of time of year and advance booking notice. All visits are requested on an individual basis and winemakers' schedules can fill well in advance at certain times of the year. Visits are personally selected by Peter Smith, based on his extensive experience in the region, and are often with winemakers who are personal friends of his. Here are a few of those... Banfi, Cinelli Colombini, Gualdo del Re, Petra, Ornellaia, Jacopo Banti, Volpaiole, Grattamacco, San Michele, Biondi-Santi, Altesino, Dievole, Vecchia Oliviera, Val di Suga, San Leonino, Poggio Antico, Frescobaldi, Rocca delle Macìe, Ricasole, Fonterutoli, Coltibuono, Castello di Ama, Riecine, Vignavecchia, Volpaia, Torciano, Tua Rita, and Casanova Di Neri.
is a restored monastery in the historic village of Suvereto. It is comprised of vacation apartments with small kitchenettes. This is a unique accommodation in a superb location, and quite unique. It does not have a dining room, so breakfast is arranged at a local café just around the corner, in typical Italian fashion.
is a family property between Castellina and Siena, in the heart of Chianti Classico. It is situated on the family's well-respected winery property (which you can visit), and owner Giovanni Vidali also breeds a species of local boar that has long traditions in the region but is now endangered. The hotel's restaurant is excellent, and service is friendly and welcoming.