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Tuscan Wine Treasures: gourmet wine tour
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Tuscan Wine Treasures: gourmet wine tour

offered by supplier M08242 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 6 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 14 people
Destination(s): Italy  
Specialty Categories: Food & Wine   Cultural Journey  
Season: May - October
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 3095 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 3345 US Dollar (USD)

In the ancient heartland of Tuscany and its three historic wine zones: Chianti Classico, Montalcino & Montepulciano, wine has been grown since pre-Roman times. Today Tuscany leads the way in innovations in Italy’s wine culture. Add glorious landscapes, Renaissance hill-towns, art treasures, and pecorino cheese, and you’ve got an epicurean delight.

Dates: May 26-31 // July 7-12 // September 28-13

HIGHLIGHTS
• Visit three historic wine zones: Chianti Classico in central Tuscany, and Montalcino and Montepulciano in southern Tuscany
• Private, sit-down wine tastings at Castello di Brolio, Castello dei Rampola, Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona, Icario & more
• Listen to Benedictine monks sing plainchant in Sant’ Antimo Abbey
• Explore the Gothic city of Siena and its art treasures
• Taste pecorino cheese in the Renaissance town of Pienza
• Roll up your sleeves for a cooking lesson at a Chianti farmhouse

DAY 1 – WELCOME TO CHIANTI CLASSICO
After a 9:30 a.m. pick-up in Florence, we shuttle to Chianti Classico (1 hour). Our first winery is a gorgeous old property, the family-run Vecchie Terre di Montefili. Here we’ll have an introduction to the noble sangiovese grape, the concept of terroir, and the legend of the black rooster. A complementary welcome lunch follows in Greve in Chianti, birthplace of the explorer Verrazano, and, if time allows, a visit to the Greve Enoteca, where 200+ wines are available to taste. For our afternoon tasting, we move to the Conca d’Oro (golden bowl) in Panzano, a high-elevation, warm amphitheater of land in a preeminent sub-zone of Chianti. Here we’ll visit Castello dei Rampolla, a biodynamic winery and pioneering renegade in its emphasis on cabernet. We then settle into our hotel, a renovated farmstead outside the medieval town of Radda in Chianti. Dinner is in a tiny hamlet called Volpaia, meaning “place of foxes.” Here we’ll have family-style servings of homemade pasta, wild boar stew, and fabulous torta della nonna (cream tort with pinenuts). L, D • Le Noci

DAY 2 – THE RICASOLIS & THE BIRTH OF CHIANTI
America had Thomas Jefferson. Italy had multiple politicians with close ties to viticulture. In Tuscany, the most important was Bettino “Iron Baron” Ricasoli, Italy’s second Prime Minister and inventor of Chianti wine. We’ll visit Castello Brolio, where the Ricasolis have been making wine since the 1100s. Walking through the magnificent gardens and on the castle’s crenulated walls, we’ll hear about the Iron Baron’s winemaking—and the legend of his ghost. Then we’ll taste their highly regarded Chiantis and Super Tuscan, and continue sampling over lunch at the winery’s Osteria del Castello. The afternoon is devoted to the Baron’s cousin at Rocca di Montegrossi. Here Marco Ricasoli-Firidolfi diligently handcrafts some of the most elegant, refined Chiantis you’ll ever find. In the late afternoon, we'll roll up our sleeves for a hands-on cooking lesson at a Chianti farmhouse. We'll dine on our brilliant labors and toast the day with a glass of vin santo, the golden dessert wine traditionally served with almond biscotti. B, D • Le Noci

DAY 3 – THE GOTHIC CITY OF SIENA
Transferring from Chianti to southern Tuscany, we’ll stop in Siena for the day. We start with Nanini, a famous old coffee bar where we’ll sample panforte, a cake dense with nuts, candied fruits, and spices. After refueling on this medieval snack, we’ll be primed and ready to visit the Palazzo Pubblico, a splendid town hall lined with Italian Gothic frescoes. We’ll pay homage to the most famous: Simone Martini’s Maesta and Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s Good & Bad Government. Then we’ll circle by the striped Duomo, home to artworks by Michelangelo and Pinturicchio, for an optional visit. Free time for lunch, shopping, and museum-going follows. Wine lovers can use this time to visit the Enoteca Nazionale, Italy’s national wine bar/showcase, housed in a Medici fortress. Mid-afternoon we’ll continue south to the hilltop town of Montalcino and our second hotel. Before dinner, we’ll gather on the terrace for an introduction to Brunello and enjoy a glass of wine while admiring the spectacular view of the Val d’Orcia. Dinner is at a lively, family-run trattoria that offers excellent pinci pasta and succulent veal glazed with balsamic-juniper sauce. B, D • Hotel Dei Capitani

DAY 4 – BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO, NORTH TO SOUTH
Today is dedicated to Brunello di Montalcino. Tuscany’s most prestigious wine is made from sangiovese, a site-sensitive grape, so we’ll visit wineries on the north and south sides of Montalcino to let you compare Brunellos made in different microclimates. First is Donatella Cinelli Colombini (aka Casato Prime Donne) on the cooler northern fringe of the DOCG zone, which is run by an all-female staff. Our hostess will provide an entertaining history of Montalcino as we tour the cellars. After lunch in Montalcino, we move 10 km south and get into a contemplate mood at the Abbey of Sant’ Antimo. In its austere Romanesque church, we’ll listen to Gregorian chants sung by the friars who live at this still-active abbey. Then it’s on to our second Brunello tasting at Ciacci Piccolomini di Aragona, a southside estate with great wines—and a great Cinderella story to match. Dinner is on your own in Montalcino. B • Hotel Dei Capitani

DAY 5 – PECORINO AND THE NOBLE WINE OF MONTEPULCIANO
The ability to make pecorino cheese was once considered so valuable a skill that women could list it on their dowry. We'll taste three types of pecorino in the cheese capital of Pienza and see how aging cheese in walnut leaves, olive paste, hay, even grape must affects its flavor. Pienza is also famous for its architecture, being an “ideal” city commissioned by the Renaissance Pope Pius II. We’ll tour the Piccolomini Palace, stroll through its beautiful light-filled church, and learn a bit about Renaissance architectural theory and Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man. Then we move to another Renaissance city, Montepulciano, for lunch. A summer retreat for Florentine aristocrats, Montepulciano has palazzi and piazze embellished by Florence’s leading 15th C. architects. Wine took center stage in the 1700s, when its popularity among nobles and literati earned it the moniker Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Our tasting of the day will be at Icario, a rising star in Montepulciano, which recently built a gorgeous state-of-the-art winery. Our farewell dinner back in Montalcino features Brunello-worthy Tuscan fare, such as gnocchi with wild herbs and beef braised in Brunello. B, D • Hotel Dei Capitani

DAY 6 - BUON VIAGGIO!
A shuttle to Florence, arriving by noon, and assistance with your travel plans. B

Member discount:
10% discount for InfoHub customer.  Request a free gift certificate.

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- 5 nights accommodations (double room) in two 3-star hotels, with breakfast buffet
- 3 gourmet dinners (three courses with wine)
- 1 hands-on cooking lesson, with dinner & wine included
- 1 welcome lunch
- All wine tastings mentioned
- Admission to Castello di Brolio
- Shuttle at beginning/end of tour, as described

About This Supplier
Photos: Next »
Location: USA
Joined InfoHub: Apr 2000
Client Request Served: 206

M08242 is the leading specialist in Italian wine tours. We believe the best way to enjoy and learn about wine is on location, close to the land and the people who produced it. Our Italian wine tours provide full immersion in Italy's wine culture, offering an enjoyable learning experience for wine enthusiasts of...

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