Tuscany

Come and meet Tuscany's sophisticated winemakers and taste their world-class wines over hearty traditional meals in medieval castelli

Tuscany - Tuscan wine tours

Tuscany is the geographical centre of Italy. Here you find two of the greatest Italian medieval and renaissance cities Florence and Siena. Florence is perhaps the cultural heart of the country. The Tuscan countryside is actually rather varied. The Chianti Classico in particular is very hilly with dense woods interspersed with vineyards. Further south the country is more open with magnificent sweeping vistas, punctuated with poplars and olive groves. The country is varied, but always evocative. Here too are the lovely small hilltop towns such as Montalcino, Montepulciano, Radda-in-Chianti, Castellina-in-Chianti and San Gimignano

Arblaster & Clarke Wine Tours arrange regular luxury Wine Holidays in Tuscany.

Tuscan Wines

The Tuscan wine scene has undergone a dramatic change in the past twenty years in terms of quality. Long gone are the straw covered fiascos of Chianti and DOC wines of questionable standards. Italy in general has transformed its wine industry, now concentrating on superb traditional regional wines. 

Tuscany was at the forefront of the revolution of introducing world-class Vino da Tavola from international grape varieties. More recently, with the rest of Italy following this trend, the Tuscans turned the tide again, to concentrate on exploring the superb qualities of their native grape varieties. The main grape red variety Sangiovese is now recognised as a ‘grade A’, superstar variety. 

The main Tuscan wine regions are Chianti Classico, which stretches from just south of Florence to Siena from North to South and from Tavernelle in the West and Gaiole in the East. Within this region you will find the attractive Tuscan towns of Radda, Castellina, Greve, Panzano and Castelnuovo de Berardenga. 

South of Siena are Montalcino, famed for its weighty, complex ‘Brunello di Montalcino’ and its finer, more more aromatic ‘Rosso di Montalcino’ and to the East, Montepulciano with its ‘Vino Nobile’. 

To the west, you find San Gimignano, with its medieval towers, built by merchants demonstrating their wealth rather than for military purposes, and which can be seen for miles around. The most famous white wines of the region, Vernaccia di San Gimignano is grown in the vineyards around the town and made on farms nearby.

Just further west on the Tuscan coast is the world-renowned wine region of Bolgheri, where the ‘Super Tuscans’ of Ornellaia and Sassicaia are made, and the ‘international varieties’, such as Cabernet-Sauvignon do so well. The news on the coast though is white! More-ish, refreshing and with a complex and delightful flavour, Vermentino has stormed in to prove the Tuscany does have a great white wine. In fact, delightful Vermentino is found all along the coast, and a little inland. A favourite of ours comes from near the Cararra marble mines, the DOC of Coli di Luni too on the Ligurian border can deliver, but perhaps it’s on the island of Elba that we have often visited on our wine cruises, that it has the most potential.

Cuisine of Tuscany

Tuscan cuisine is wholesome and rustic rather being refined or complex. Local ingredients, fresh according to the seasons are crucial. It is not a tomato-based cuisine, although Tuscan tomatoes and vegetabes are very good; Crostini (little toasts) with liver paste, anchovy paste or fresh tomatoes are probably the Tuscan dish that is best known internationally. Pasta is not a traditional local dish, though it will be used along with game, for example in the delicious game dish “Papardelle alla Lepere” or “Papardelle alla Cinghale”. (These are wide pasta strips with hare or wild boar); soup is a Tuscan staple, particularly those rich bean soups laced with the excellent local olive oil. Nearly all the wine estates also make their own extra virgin olive oil, which is an added bonus to the visitor.

Cathedral, Lucca
11 Jul - 25 Aug 2014
Price per person: £795.00Deposit: £0.00
This independent Opera holiday is based in the attractive Tuscan town of Lucca, and includes the Puccini festival on the lake-side at Torre del Lago. With four new productions contributing toward an...
15 Sep - 19 Sep 2014
Price per person: £2,375.00Single Supplement: £300.00Deposit: £500.00
Stay on one of the most famous Tuscan wine estates that is reputed for its gardens. The property dates from 1435 and is of major historic importance as it was here that the agreements on the division...
Puccini statue in Lucca
23 Jul - 26 Jul 2015
Price per person: £1,650.00Single Supplement: £200.00Deposit: £600.00
This fabulous Opera and Wine combination includes first category tickets to Tosca and Turandot at the Puccini Opera Festival. Staying nearby in Lucca, you’ll also enjoy the wines of the Lucchesi...
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Price per person: £0.00Deposit: £0.00
In Tuscany we visit a hand-picked selection of the top Chianti wine estates to taste the traditional Chianti Classico, which at this level are some of the most impressive wines of Italy. The main...

Previous Tours

12 May - 16 May 2014
Price per person: £1,599.00Single Supplement: £200.00Deposit: £500.00
A wonderful blend of respect for tradition and a determined attitude to increasing quality makes Italy one of the most exciting wine countries of the world. On this tour we’ll visit those estates who...

 

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0044 (0)1730 263111