March 9, 2009, 11:08 PM
Wineries - by ourselves with a rented car
We would like to go to a few wineries, and have a rental car wherein we would drive to a designated winery, taste wine, and not spend hours on a pre-determined tour. Are there any wineries which will allow us to call ahead so that they know that we're expected, but don't have a lot of time to spend? e.g. have a small tour, do some tasting & we will purchase wine.
March 25, 2009, 05:46 PM
From your other post I gather you'll be in Siena and therefore will be seeking wineries in the Chianti area to the north of Siena or to the south in the Montalcino or Montepulciano area. But with a car you'll be free to move around further away so I'll offer suggestions for other wineries outside of those areas as well.
Many wineries offer tastings at a specific time on certain days which are open to anyone showing up, but many cater to groups and set up visits according to needs. Many others will set up the tasting with a phone call, so email them and see how flexible they are. Most are small producers so I am sure most will be flexible.
Not many know that the Chianti wine area extends all around Florence, while it no longer falls into the "classico" definition, it is still very good Chianti .
You can try Chianti Rufina wine at Fattoria il Lago which also offers tours of their wine cellars: http://www.fattoriaillago.com/cellars.php
They are located near Dicomano, to the east of Florence.
Fattoria Dianella offers Chianti and other red wines, as well as visits to the cellars, every Tuesday and Thursday at 3pm or on other days upon request: http://www.villadianella.it/winetourstastings.php
They are located near Vinci, to the west of Florence.
Fattoria San Michele is near Cerbaia but also has 2 shops in Florence. Wine tastings are offered at all locations, the estate in Chianti offers the tour of the cellars as well. The addresses are on this page:
Near Greve in Chianti in the heart of Chianti Classico area, we found this small family-run winery, Montefioralle, that offers tastings:
There are so many that it is hard to name all of them. One of the bigger names in the area is the Antinori family, with several estates across Tuscany. A visit to their wine shop will allow you to taste a sampling of their wines from areas outside of Chianti (for example, Brunello di Montalcino and Bolgheri) as well as Tuscany.
You can visit some of Antinori's wine cellars at Badia a Passignano near Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, where they also have a restaurant and shop. From the site:
"Every afternoon at 3:30 p.m. (except Thursdays and Sundays) it is possible to tour the ancient wine cellars, followed by a tasting of 4 Antinori wines. The visit lasts about two hours and we request a minimum of four people in each group. "
Their wine shop is also open for tastings - hours of operation: everyday (except Sundays) from 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Find out more at: http://www.osteriadipassignano.com
I hope this offers some ideas from which to start your search. The best suggestion might be to fit a visit a day into your plans as you move around the area on your vacation. Let us know if you need any more suggestions!
April 15, 2009, 02:45 AM
Thanks so much for this helpful information. You've more than inspired us to carefully plan our time. You really went into detail, and I'm going to print out many of the addresses. My husband and I will definitely definitely do a "toast" to you while we're drinking one of many glasses of wine!! Again thank you for your consideration. This is our 3rd trip to Italy, with plans for many more, and it's kind people like you that motivate us!!!
April 15, 2009, 10:52 AM
I am glad to be of help, if you need any further suggestions let us know!
We'd love to have you share your experiences about the wineries and places you do end up visiting, you'll likely have good tips for everyone else - so please come back and let us know how everything turns out!
August 13, 2009, 02:28 PM
I was wondering if anyone could recommend a good Brunello winery in Montalcino along with a good winery at Montepulciano?
Any other wine region near the Chianti that is worth visiting?
August 14, 2009, 12:59 AM
selection of some wineries in Montalcino and Montepulciano