If you’re a wine aficionado or just want to learn more about the world of Tuscan wine, we recommend booking a wine tour during your villa rental week!
1. Chianti Countryside Tour and Wine Tasting – (full day)
Overview: Explore the Chianti countryside then enjoy tastings, a cellar visit, and lunch at a Chianti wine estate.
- This full-day tour begins when your guide picks you up in Florence (or at your villa for an extra cost) to travel the picturesque Chiantigiana road, winding through vineyards, olive groves and towns.
- You’ll stop first to tour Montefioralle Castle, then on to Greve, the pretty market town which is the capital of the Chianti region.
- The special treat comes when you visit the working winery of Fattoria Montagliari, where you’ll see the cellar and taste the Chianti Classico made by the welcoming family; a lunch at the winery (menu changes daily) is available for an extra cost (paid locally) of 25 Euros per person. Afterward, you’ll drive through Panzano and on to Castellina, a pretty medieval town.
- The tour does not include wine tastings & snacks, meals, museum entrance fees, or gratuities. The order of the tour stops may change depending on local conditions. The cost for tastings and snacks will be paid directly to the wineries.
- Cost: 450 Euros (1-4 pax); 500 Euros (1-8 pax). Larger groups can also be accommodated; please inquire for rates!
We had a very enjoyable day tasting Chianti wines and olive oil in Tuscany.
Our first visit was hosted by the owner who shared his knowledge and passion in his vineyards. He took care to show us the differences in cultivating merlot, syrah, and Sangiovese vines. Learning to tell the difference by color and shape of the leaves was fascinating. He was a great tasting host, showing us the photo of the pig that was “contributing” the salami and giving us tastes of all of his wonderful wines. A highlight for our younger kids was the chocolate in olive oil (to be believed!). Our group is returning to the U.S. with many samples of wine and olive oil.
Our second stop was at a much larger winery. We got to see more varied production techniques at a larger scale than the first stop. Our tasting was actually a delicious luncheon – four courses, each with an appropriate accompanying wine. We couldn’t resist taking a few samples with us.
Full but not deterred we were delighted to see the next stop was another smaller producer. This one was known for being the first to grow Merlot in Tuscany – near heresy at the time. Our hostess was delightful and shared stories and history of the winery and the region. Again, the wine was wonderful and, of course, we purchased some samples to share back “home”.
Thanks, Jonathan, for your careful driving and Maurizio for the comfortable car/mini-bus and arranging the tour.
Ken, July 2016
2. Taste of Tuscany Wine Tour – NEW for 2017!
Overview: From a visit to the oldest Italian butcher to sampling the world’s best gelato… not to mention wine education and tastings–this full-day wine tour has it all! Here’s the day’s itinerary:
- 9:00 AM: Your guide will pick you up at your villa.
- 9:30 AM: Visit Greve-in-Chianti. Your tour will begin in the main piazza–where you’ll pop into Falorni, the oldest butcher shop in Italy.
- 10:00 AM: First tasting! Enjoy a tour and tastings at Castello di Verrazzano (90 minutes). Tasting cost: 18 Euros/person.
- 2:15 PM: Lunch at Altiero winery in Montefioralle (2 hours). Cost: 25 Euros/person.
- 3:15 PM: Tasting at the winery of your choice in San Gimignano (30 minutes). Cost: 10 Euros/person.
- 4:00 PM: Explore San Gimignano and stop in at Gelateria Dondoli–recipient of the award for the world’s best gelato! (1 hour; cost of gelato is extra.)
- 5:30 PM: Return to your villa for R&R.
- Cost: 562.50 Euros (1-8 pax). Please see above for individual tasting costs; all amounts are payable directly to the wineries. Gratuity is not included. Larger groups can also be accommodated; please inquire for rates!
3. Heart of Chianti Gastro Tour – NEW for 2017!
Overview: Following a breathtaking drive through the countryside, you’ll end up at its very heart: Greve. Start the day by sampling aged ham and pecorino… then you’re off to Grevepesa winery in nearby Montefioralle for tastings, a guided tour, and delicious lunch with pairings.
- Your guide will pick you up in the morning from your villa – transportation is included!
- Travel to Greve, where you’ll convene in the charming main piazza under the statue of Giovanni di Verrazzano, a famous navigator and the town’s most famous citizen. Lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants, the piazza is also home to the Falorni butcher shop–renowned for its house made prosciutto and pecorino. You’ll sample the shop’s specialities, and then it’s off to hilltop Montefioralle (4 km).
- At noon your visit to the cellars at the Grevespa winery begins. Your guide will show you the modern facilities for pressing, fermentation, and storage of wine. In addition, you’ll see the old cellars with historic casks and small barrels for vin santo. The bottling plant, with its exciting and noisy operation, is your next stop.
- Lunch is served in the on site restaurant. Chef Daniela will prepare affettati toscana (local salumi), various bruschetta, and pecorino to start, followed by two different pastas. Conclude the meal with cantuccini di prato (traditional biscotti) along with vin santo and two more Grevespa wines.
- Cost: 120 Euros/person. 1-8 pax. Transportation from/to your villa, tastings, and lunch are all included in the price. Larger groups can also be accommodated; please inquire for rates!
Please contact RentVillas at (800) 726-6702. To confirm a reservation, a 20% non-refundable deposit is required. Upon receipt of the deposit, you will be put in direct contact with the tour purveyor who will answer your specific questions regarding the details of the experience, including balance payment, extra costs, and the meeting time. We recommend that reservations be made at least two months prior to your departure.