Tuscany, Italy - 5 nights
Available June - Monday to Saturday
Explore Tuscany’s most historic wine zones: Chianti Classico, Montalcino, and Montepulciano. Two to three in-depth wine tastings per day are complemented by the art of Gothic Siena, a tasting of pecorino cheese in Pienza, Gregorian chants in Montalcino, and a hands-on cooking lesson at a Chianti farmhouse.
RENAISSANCE ART, CHEESE & WINE
From Florence, drive straight into the Renaissance. Montepulciano is
a hill town lined with Renaissance palaces. It’s also home to Vino Nobile, a wine drunk by nobles since the 1700s. We’ll have our first tasting at a winery that was a driving force behind Vino Nobile’s renewal. Then we have lunch at a second winery. Together they’ll offer a great introduction to the Sangiovese grape, the basis of Tuscany’s most famous red wines.
Afternoon spotlights Pienza, famous for its pecorino cheese and its Renaissance architecture. We'll taste several cheeses and tour this "ideal city," created by Pope Pius III in the 1400s. The day ends in Montalcino, our home base for the first half of this tour.
BIG INTO BRUNELLO
Two tastings today focus on the terroir of Montalcino and how site changes the character of Brunello di Montalcino, one of Italy’s most coveted wines. Featured estates might include the historic property Ciacci Piccolomini, a newcomer like Fanti, or the female-employees-only property of Casato Prime Donne.
An afternoon pause includes a visit to the monastery Sant’ Antimo, where we’ll hear monks sing mid-day chants.
THE SIGHTS OF SIENA
A day in the Gothic city of Siena combines a tour of its most famous landmarks— the Palazzo Publico and the striped cathedral—with time on your own to browse the museums and churches, the wonderful ceramic shops, or the National Enoteca.
We then transfer to the Chianti Classico zone and settle into our second hotel, nestled deep in the countryside.
Today features a visit to Chianti’s birthplace, a crenellated, fairytale castle from the 1400s: Castello di Brolio. We’ll tour its museum and gardens, taste the award-winning wines, and lunch at the winery’s osteria.
Then we visit their cousins over the hill at Rocca di Montegrosso, a boutique winery with exquisitely elegant renditions of Chianti.
Dinner is in a medieval hamlet, with family-style platters of homemade pasta, wild boar, and lots of Chianti wine.
IN THE CHIANTI KITCHEN
Two more Chianti estates are highlighted today, including one once tended by medieval monks. In between is lunch in Greve in Chianti, the birthplace of the Renaissance explorer Verrazzano and a charming wine village.
A hands-on cooking lesson at a Tuscan farmhouse follows, which will give you pasta-making bragging rights.
Buon viaggio! A shuttle to Florence and assistance with your travel plans.
*Itinerary changes very slightly each year so as to improve the tour
A minimum of 2 participants is required to run this tour and the tour in limited to a maximum of 14 participants.
(The number of participants refers to how many persons are required to run the tour, not to how many persons you must have in your party. Please inquire.)
HOW TO ARRIVE
*(Clients need to arrive the day before so as to meet the group the morning that the tour begins. For your convenience, on arrival & departure days, a shuttle is offered between the nearest train station or airport and the tour's first hotel).
*These details are provided as additional information. Please check below to see if transfers are included in this tour.
Single Room Supplement/US$350
Standard accommodations are two people per room. If you are traveling alone, we will assign you a roommate of the same gender, or you may choose to room alone by paying a private room supplement fee
*Pricing may vary depending on market fluctuation
After availability is confirmed, a deposit of US$450 per person and the completed and submitted registration form will secure your reservation. Final payment is due in full 75 days before your arrival date.
*Five (5) nights accommodations (double room) in two 3-star hotels, with breakfast buffet
*Three (3) gourmet dinners (three courses with wine)
•One (1) hands-on cooking lesson, with dinner & wine included
•One (1) welcome lunch
•All wine tastings mentioned
•Admission to Castello Brolio
•Shuttle at beginning/end of tour, as described
Transportation: We provide one van pick-up on day of arrival/departure at designated train station or airport (call for times). All ground transport during stay.
*One (1) dinner on your own and most lunches
•After-dinner drinks, or special wines at tastings that are not part of what is provided to the group
•Items of a personal nature
•Anything not specifically mentioned as included
For further inquiries or to register, click here.
Please contact us for cancellation policy information. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
Bill and Faye D., Sydney, Australia
"Dear Jo-Ann - Claudio was simply terrific - we could not have asked or a better guide. Every day was well thought out and executed. The Gourmet Wine and Food Tour was one of the best tours we have ever taken. The quality of the vineyards visited were superb with either the cellar master or owner giving superb commentary. The towns we stayed in and/or visited were just fabulous. A trip not to be missed."
Anita L., wine educator, Atlanta, Georgia
"Claudio and Pat are gracious guides to Italy: tireless in their efforts to serve you; generous in their choice of hotels, restaurants, and wines; and masterful navigators of Italy's country roads, art, culture, churches, and vineyards."
Patricia J., New York City
"I've lived and traveled in a lot of countries, but I honestly can't remember a more beautiful experience - the countryside, the food, the wines, the people. Everything was about as perfect as could be."
Hob B., Seattle, Washington
"We thought ourselves very lucky to be in a group of knowledgeable wine people and benefited at lot from their experience. We loved Tuscany and thought the tour was an excellent introduction to the region."
Jim D., Chicago, Illinois
"Pat and Claudio were perfect hosts! They both worked hard to insure we had an enjoyable journey while being comfortable companions."
Kelly D., Chicago, Illinois
"It was a great tour and a terrific way to get a feel of the region."
Sally O., Fairborn, Ohio
"I appreciate all the research that went into finding beautiful walks, great restaurants, and interesting wine tastings and tours. Thanks for a great week."
Valerie M., Midland Park, New Jersey
"I've never had better support on a bike tour. I learned a lot about wine, but also about architecture, art, food, and Italian culture. Keep up the good work!"
Nancy D., Portland, Oregon
"I feel like I've become a "mini-expert" on the wines of Piedmont. Instead of being baffled by the variety of Italian wines available, now I can say, here's something from Alba, and this little Dolcetto will go well with my dinner."
Mary B., Atlanta, Georgia
"I really did not know what to expect. I'd never been to Italy, knew very little about Italian wines, and never had been on an organized tour. I kept saying tomorrow just can't top this, and then it did. This truly was an awesome experience."
This exciting region is depicted below. You can also access Google MapsTM by clicking HERE.
*In some cases mapping may give clients a general sense of location due to changes in venue. Please inquire about specific location.