Chianti Classico Poggio Bottles
Southern Tuscany & Chianti Classico
18 - 23 October 2010
This fully revised Italian wine tour to Southern Tuscany & Chianti Classico encompasses two of Italy’s great classic wine regions.
We start with the cult wine region of Bolgheri on the coast in Southern Tuscany. Our base for the first part of this Tuscan wine tour is a superb 5* Spa Hotel on the Tuscan coast.
Here we have tastings and lunches at the famous Italian wine estates who put the concept of ‘Super Tuscans’ on the world wine map, with their Bordeaux blends of Cabernet and Merlot. We begin with a visit to Grattamacco with their stunning vineyards that overlook the sea. Grattamacco was one of the first estates in the Bolgheri region to start producing quality wine. The estate is leased to Claudia Tipa, who owns another estate in the Maremma.
We have the rare chance to visit the truly outstanding Tenuta San Guido, makers of the legendary ‘Sassicaia’ that began the Bolgheri wine explosion. Here we will taste Sassicaia as well as their second wine, the more accessible Guidalberto.
We continue (to almost next door) to the awe inspiring Tenuta dell’Ornellaia, where following a tasting of the complex wines, we will enjoy lunch at the beautiful estate. They have immaculate vineyards in some of the best sites in the region and whilst their Merlot based Masseto often causes a buzz at tastings, it is for the powerful blend of both Cabernets, Merlot and Petit Verdot that is Ornellaia, for which the estate is quite rightly famed. After lunch there will be a brief visit to the tiny but very pretty village of Bolgheri, after which the region is named. The coach will then return to the hotel with time for you to relax, perhaps trying out some of the treatments in the Hotels’ Spa.
The region has seen much outside investment with wine makers from other regions buying land. There is the estate of Ca Marcanda owned by Angelo Gaja of Barbaresco fame and also the lovely Antinori estate, Guada al Tasso, where we lunch with their elegant wines. Their white made from Vermentino is a wonderfully made wine but the estates reputation is increasing in respect due to the wonderfully complex but very smooth Guado al Tasso made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
After lunch we call into the small hilltop town of Castagneto Carducci, a village of medieval origins. The streets have been developed in concentric rings starting from the castle, which was originally surrounded by walls. Today, only a section of the walls remains, facing the sea.
Next day, we continue to the heart of the rolling, vine covered hillsides of Chianti Classico. We stay in a “Dimora Storica”, which is a beautifully converted Palazzo in the heart of Chianti.
Exchanging the Bordelaise varieties for Sangiovese, we visit Felsina di Beradenga in the south of Chianti, where they produce their award winning Rancia Riserva. Under the auspices of Giusepppe Mazzocolin it is possibly one of the most consistently excellent estates in Italy, producing exemplary Chianti Classico. However, their location is reflected in the wines which show more richness similar to Montalcino.
We also taste at Castello di Ama, which is famed for their supple and elegant wines as well as at the welcoming estate of Badia a Coltibuono in its fabulous location of a 10th Century Abbey. Owned by the dynamic Stucchi-Prinetti family, their wines are glorious deep with hints of spice and tobacco. The family are dedicated to preserving the surrounding landscape of the estate as well as the garden which dates from the middle ages. The Monks created a medieval Orchard which has been reinterpreted many times over the years.
There’s also an afternoon spent exploring the charming Renaissance city of Siena and our last day includes some free time in the fascinating medieval hill top town of San Gimignano with its Manhattan like skyline of ancient merchant towers.
The tour ends at Pisa airport from where you can fly home or catch the train to Florence.
Why not stay on and enjoy Florence for a couple of nights after your Tuscan wine tour?
We will be pleased to book you a couple of nights at our favourite, family run 4* on the banksof the River Arno. Please call for details.