Italian Wine Tours
Italy is a land of beauty and good tastes. Thanks to its milder climate, mainly Mediterranean, products of the land are of an extremely high quality. Among these, we could not but mention the amazing quality and broad variety of wines coming from several, the world over famous, vineyards. Italy, one of the oldest wine-producing region in the world, is the world’s largest wine producer by volume, closely followed by France. Italian wine is exported around the world and is also extremely popular in Italy: Italians rank fifth on the world wine consumption list by volume with 42 liters per capita consumption. Grapes are grown in almost every region of the country and there are more than one million vineyards under cultivation. Which are the main areas where you can actually see and taste for yourself Italian Wine? How many kinds of Wine could you find in Italy? What time is best for a Wine Tour? Let’s start with listing the most famous and renowned Italian Wines.
Italy has listed twenty wine regions that actually correspond to the twenty administrative regions. Each region, different from the others, has developed its own vineyards and wine quality which reflects in its cuisines as well. There are 73 DOCG (Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin) wines which are concentrated mostly in Piedmont, Veneto and Tuscany. Among these are appellations appreciated and sought after by wine lovers around the world: Barolo, Barbaresco, and Brunello di Montalcino (colloquially known as the “Killer B’s“). Other notable wines that in the latest years has gained much attention in the international markets and among specialists are: Amarone della Valpolicella, Prosecco di Conegliano- Valdobbiadene, Taurasi from Campania, Franciacorta sparkling wines from Lombardy; evergreen wines are Chianti and Soave, while new wines from the Central and South of Italy are quickly gaining recognition: Sagrantino, Primitivo, Nero D’Avola among others. The Friuli-Venezia Giulia is world famous for the quality of her white wines, like Pinot Grigio. Special sweet wines like Passitos and Moscatos, made in different regions, are also famous since old time.
A Wine Tour in Italy is one of the best ways to discover the true essence of this country- especially if you think about the idyllic wine roads and castles of Tuscany and Piedmont, or the haute cuisine of Lombardy, the romance and Villas of the Veneto, and the delightful fishing villages on the Ligurian and Amalfi Coasts.
Most cities today are organizing Wine Tasting Events, and these you may want to become part of your tour. Florence, capital of the Chianti Wine, produced in the surrounding Hillside is known for two of the main noble families of Florence, Antinori and Frescobaldi, that began producing wine 8 centuries ago. They have been great rivals ever since. In Florence you can visit a “Cantina” (Wine cellar) to enjoy a delightful wine tasting or winery tour inside an “Enoteca” (Wine bar). In these wineries you can taste: Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, or the famous Ornellaia. However, you don’t need to enter a winery to taste a good wine, because in Florence you can find a “vinaino” (small stand where you can sip a glass of wine and taste some “aperitivo” outside, in the street) in every corner in the city center. It is also possible to have a Wine Tour with an expert guide to taste some of the finest wines in the world.
Wine Town – Florence
Florence converts itself into Wine Town for two days every May since 5 years. Wine Town is an event that combines quality wine tasting with concerts and exhibitions all around the city. Wine Tasting is available in every corner and ancient place of the city, something that makes this event special and charged with atmosphere. Great food is also a specialty of this event. Visitors can purchase The WineCard which is a rechargeable prepaid card with which one can taste all the prestigious wines. It costs € 15.00 and offers 5 Wine tasting.You are given the chalice to start enjoying every sip of the wines you will choose to taste.
Planning the Tour
You can find many agencies who can organize your wine tour through Italy Wine Regions like Tuscany, Piedmont, Sicily, Apulia and Veneto-Friuli. They offer their expertise in organizing well-rounded wine tours that include not only wine tasting but also Italian beautiful natural scenarios, hosts of the wine tradition of this country. For a 4 days tour you may spend up to €1000, while Luxury VIP Tours start from €450 per day per person.
If you are a budget tourist you may still enjoy your Self-Wine Tour, with offers accommodations per night starting from €40 per room. Then on the local area you may consult the tourist information point and hire an authorized visitor guide with a cost per day ranging from €50-250 according to the kind of tour and hours required. Otherwise you may always consult an index directory and visit a Wine Cantina yourself and enjoy Wine and typical products for a cheaper price.
Harvest Season in Italy is from late September to October. Why not take advantage of the mild climate, reasonably good weather and low season to secure your Italian wine tour? You will take home long-lasting fond memories!