Traveling in Tuscany: The Best Wine Tasting & Wine Tours WINE TV

Traveling in Tuscany: The Best Wine Tasting & Wine Tours WINE TV

Forty-five minutes south of Florence, Tuscany’s Chianti Classico region is the icon of the Italian wine industry. Surprisingly, many of its wineries still provide free tastings. The region is filled with medieval castles, churches, and hilltop towns, all wrapped up in vines. Its roads swerve, and the locals once joked that they were designed specifically for drunk driving. Nowadays, Italy’s drinking and driving laws, which are very similar to those in the United States, are strongly enforced.

Of all Italian regions, Chianti Classico is the best equipped for wine tasting. The wineries are open regularly, and most do not require appointments. Almost every Tuscan winemaker makes the famous Chianti Classico, as well as the dessert wine Vin Santo. Chiantis are usually dry with high acidity and are known for aging well. If you don’t like dry wines and would prefer something more California-esque, try the Super Tuscans. Super Tuscans feature international grapes, such as cabernet sauvignon and merlot, and tend to be more fruit forward. Wineries commonly offer olive oil and grappa tastings, too.

Tuscan town centers are usually pedestrian-only. Greve in Chianti, one of the first towns south of Florence, has a famous farmers market in its main piazza. Offerings include black truffles, fresh cheeses, boar salami, and even wine tastings. Wine tasting prices vary greatly throughout Chianti Classico; the following offer budget-friendly wine tastings: Fattoria Casaloste, Il Molino di Grace, Il Palagio, Campocorto (fee waved with wine purchase), Castello D’Albola, Vignamaggio, Volpaia, and Rocca delle Macìe.

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