Tuscany Wine Tour
This tour is now FULL and waitlisted. To be added to the waitlist, please email David@finevintageltd.com Thank you!
LUXURY FOOD AND WINE TOUR TO TUSCANY
OCTOBER 7th – 11th 2013
Join us on a trip to visit the great wineries of Tuscany.
Hosted by James Cluer
Tua Rita Ornellaia Petra
Castelgiocondo Argiano Castello di Ama
Castell’in Villa Castello di Monsanto
Wine school Florence Outstanding food
In collaboration with my friend Filippo, we have put together another amazing trip to some of the greatest wineries in Tuscany. We have arranged a series of lunches and dinner at the top wineries, with beautiful food and wine, in a gorgeous setting.
The line-up includes Tua Rita, Ornellaia, Petra, fantastic Brunellos, Castello di Ama, Frescobaldi, Monsanto, and old vintages at Castell’in Villa. You’ll visit the best wineries in a dynamic region that has extremely traditional producers making wine next to modernists.
It will be very educational, as well as a lot of fun. Filippo, our local guide, is an expert on Tuscany and I’ve booked my spot. It’s a quality experience.
We will only be taking 20 people as these wineries are not typically open to visitors. Every year the trips sell out so please don’t delay.
Price: The cost per person is CAD $2,995 including tax based on double occupancy at the hotels. This price includes all accommodation, visits and tastings at wineries, all meals, all wine at meals, and local transport. Flights are not included.
If you are travelling by yourself we will try to find you someone appropriate to share a room with, or if you want your own room there will be a single supplement of CAD$700.
To join the tour:
Simply email David@FineVintageLtd.com and ask for the booking form.
Why take a tour of Tuscany from Fine Vintage?
These estates are not typically open to visitors. The only reason that we are able to visit these wineries is because I buy their wines and Filippo has very close connections in the area too. We also have a school in Tuscany and a partnership with the Italian government-run Consorzio Chianti Classico.
So you’ll experience parts of Tuscany that most will never see. The wineries are very welcoming to us. You’ll taste wines they don’t allow others to try, and everything is done for you…
All of the visits are already confirmed. Here is the program.
Monday – 7th October
Please make your own flight arrangements to Florence.
At 11.00 am
Meet with James and Filippo in front of The Hotel Baglioni in Florence. Board the luxury bus and we’re off. This hotel is 200 meters from the train station and very central in Florence.
If you are looking for somewhere to spend the night before the tour then this is a good bet, or the Hotel Roma around the corner is less expensive. If you want to go crazy, then you can’t do better than The Four Seasons in Florence. You could live there.
Pick up at Grand Hotel Baglioni
Piazza Unità Italiana 6, Firenze Italia
Time for some sparkling wine, and then we’re off to the coast, to the land of the super-Tuscans.
Check-in to hotel at 1.00 pm
We stay at a Tuscan hotel that’s full of charm. It’s set against a picturesque backdrop of gently-rolling hills, lined by cypress trees, and vineyards. It’s very comfortable and classically Italian. We are here for 2 nights. http://www.tenutagardini.it/default.htm
We’ll have a light lunch, a few bottles of wine, and I’ll give an introduction to Italian wine and an overview of the program. It’s then time for a siesta or a swim before the evening out.
We will leave the hotel at 6 pm and go to Suverto, a tiny little Tuscan village that dates back hundreds of years, for an aperitif. This is where Filippo lives. He’s going to be the next Mayor! We will have some sparkling wine, some small bites, and seemingly meet everyone in the village. How many brothers do Italians have?
TUA RITA – visit & dinner
We will then go for our first winery visit, and dinner, at Tua Rita. www.tuarita.it Tua Rita is a Super Tuscan cult wine that was the first ever in Tuscany to get a 100 point Parker rating. We will have several courses for dinner in their private dining room along with a large number of wines, including their top cuvees. The family always joins us for dinner. We learn about Syrah and Merlot here, as well as Sangiovese.
Tuesday 8th October
Super Tuscan Heaven
9.30 am Depart hotel
Espresso, breakfast, and then we’ll drive 20 minutes through medieval villages towards Bolgheri. The Tuscan countryside is idyllic.
Visit and tasting at Ornellaia
There are a few very big names on the coast. Ornellaia is one of them. First, you’ll see the Masseto vineyard, which is 100% Merlot, and is one of the most expensive wines in Italy, and the world. Then, we have a full tour of the production facilities at Ornellaia, including the bottling line, barrel cellars, and a look at the inventive and stylish packaging.
Ornellaia is one of the most famous Super Tuscans. It’s a collector’s wine, and highly prized. Cabernet is the focus here and of course we’ll have a tasting at the end of the visit. www.ornellaia.com
12.30 Lunch at the beach.
We go to the beach for lunch. There is a beautiful seafood restaurant there overlooking the Mediterranean, and they stock a very large range of Italian wines. This is a good combination. So it’s a relaxing lunch with beautiful food. Afterwards you can wonder down the beach and dip your toe in the Med.
Petra – tour and tasting
Some of the wineries on the Tuscan coast are vying for the title of “most amazing architecture.” Petra is in the running. It was designed by a Swiss architect called Mario Botta. Amusingly, in the press release, it says “he challenged himself to create a design that also met the winery’s needs, at least as much as possible…” Who would have thought that might be important…?
The estate spreads over 300 hectares and has vineyards, forests, olive groves, and the wines are well regarded. www.petrawine.it
Afterwards we head back to the hotel for some r ‘n r. We’ll have a lovely private dinner later that evening where we are staying. At dinner we’ll have a slew of diverse Italian reds and whites, including older vintages of Sassicaia, Ornellaia, and others. This is some serious wine.
Wednesday 9th October
Check out of the hotel and at 10 am we’re off to taste some amazing Brunellos in the idyllic setting of Montalcino, a village perched on a hilltop, surrounded by many of the most prized vineyards in Italy.
I am a big fan of Brunellos. These must be aged for 5 years before release, they are 100% Sangiovese, and there’s a unique terroir influenced by altitude. Sangiovese is very sensitive to altitude. We’ll visit 2 benchmark producers here.
11.30 am Tour and tasting at Castelgiocondo (Frescobaldi)
These guys win the award for the longest driveway in the world. The estate is 815 hectares and it seems like you drive around all of it to get to the stunning castello. Who built these things? It’s extraordinary. Huge estates, beautiful castles, and unbelievable wine too.
This is Frescobaldi’s statement in Brunello. In blind tastings of dozens of Brunellos the label of this wine always seems to be standing amongst the finalists, and has won outright before. We will be well received here by the people from Frescobaldi. www.castelgiocondo.it
At 1.30 pm Argiano
After being schooled on Brunello by Frescobaldi we head for lunch and more fantastic wine at Argiano. This is another well regarded property and we’ll have a relaxing lunch and the wine will flow. www.argiano.net
After lunch we’ll stop by the little town of Montalcino for a quick visit. It’s very picturesque. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montalcino
Then we’re headed for the Hotel Palazzo Leopoldo, smack bang in the heart of Chianti Classico, in the village of Radda. Tuscany is a very popular place for people to come and retire, or rent a villa. When you see places like Radda you’ll understand why.
The hotel is an old Palazzo built in the 1300’s. It’s a very traditional Tuscan hotel, full of character. There’s lots of antiques, cobblestones, and little alcoves. It’s the type of place Julia Roberts goes to get over it. If you are expecting a Hilton then you’ve come on the wrong tour. This is a totally different experience. It’s what I would call rustic luxury.
Tonight is a free evening for you to explore the village and have dinner by yourself. There are lots of restaurants.
Thursday 10th October
It’s time for some relaxation in the morning. At 11.30 am we head off just 5 minutes away to the Convent of Santa Marina. This is where we house our WSET wine school, and so we’ll have lunch here, and a tasting of various Chianti Classico wines, and also an olive oil tasting. So you will learn more about Italy’s wines, and especially Chianti Classico over lunch.
After lunch we go to the most amazing place - Castello di Ama www.castellodiama.com
You’ll fall in love here. It’s the most tiny village you’ve ever seen. I think there are 3 houses. It’s like going back to medieval times. In contrast to the long history, there are dozens of modern art exhibits that pop up all over the place.
They also make some of the finest olive oil in Italy. We’ll learn about the process and taste it. And, to cap it all off, the single vineyard wines are totally off the charts and the quality will blow your mind. Enough said?
Afterwards, we go back to the hotel in Radda for a few hours, and then we’re out for the last supper.
7.00 pm Castell’in Villa – tour, tasting and dinner with old vintages
It dates from the 12th century, produces a range of spectacular wines including Super Tuscans, makes olive oil that is to die for – all the usual stuff. Castell’in Villa is stunning. Every property has their own style and winemaking DNA.
We’re going to have a fantastic dinner here with many different wines, and old vintages.
Friday 11th October
We’ll leave the hotel at 9 am and drive to our last winery, called Castello di Monsanto.
This was voted everybody’s favorite winery last year. The wines are phenomenal. They also make Vin Santo, which is crafted in the most amazing process, with the fermentation potentially lasting for years.
Castello di Monsanto is one of the most respected estates in Tuscany and one of the top producers of traditional Chianti Classico Riserva. They have long tunnels of underground cellars stacked with bottles dating back decades. It’s beautiful.
Then we go to Florence, for lunch at an amazing restaurant in the Piazzale Michelangelo. This restaurant is 130 years old, and was originally intended to be a museum for the works of Michelangelo. The art never showed up. But the building is considered to be the “guardhouse” of Florence, with a spectacular view overlooking it. Check out this link, replete with the music concerto… - www.ristorantelaloggia.it
And then we’re done! By 5 pm we’ll drop you off at the Baglioni Hotel and also drop people at the train station. You’ll be glad we are not eating or drinking for another day. 5 days is plenty. It’s a perfect amount of time to see the best wineries, learn an enormous amount, enjoy excellent food, with a local Tuscan guide (who is a riot) and myself.
This is a great trip for 20 people, hosted by local and international wine experts, visiting the great estates with a small group of like-minded fun-loving people.
TO BOOK, Please write to David@FineVintageLtd.com or reply to this email and request the booking form.
For other tours please visit www.finevintageltd.com We offer tours to Bordeaux, Spain and Champagne-Burgundy-Rhone.
Featured wine tasting holiday to Tuscany, Italy:
Fine Vintage Ltd is delighted to offer a unique collection of guided wine tours for travel in 2013. Our luxury wine tour holidays have been carefully tailored to suit your tastes and needs. You will stay in fine hotels and luxury inns; enjoy wine tastings in the region's top wineries; dine in the most exclusive restaurants, and enjoy the company of others who share a passion for wine.
James Cluer, MW, is your host on this unforgettable wine tour through some of the most charming wineries in Tuscany, Italy. Each wine tour holiday has been designed by James, whose passion for wine, invaluable expertise and knowledge, as well as, personal insight, willl give you a brilliant perspective into Tuscany wine. James' relationships with the winemakers and owners will provide you unique access that goes beyond other wine tours. See the beauty of Italy and learn the history of this amazing region that attracts visitors from all over the world. This is the ultimate wine connoisseur's tour of Tuscany, and offers the very best food and wine experience for anyone who loves wine.
Tuscany wine tours, guided wine tour holidays to Tuscany, Italy by Fine Vintage Ltd including visits to the best wineries including Tua Rita, Sassicaia, Ornellaia, Gaja, Soldera, Castel Giocondo, Poggio di Sotto, Castello di Monsanto, Castello di Ama and Tignanello.
These luxurious guided wine tours to Tuscany, Italy have been arranged by your host, leading wine expert, James Cluer, MW. As a Master of Wine, James is regarded as one of the world's leading experts on wine. The MW is considered to be the pinnacle of qualifications in the wine industry. There are only 30 MW's in North America and 300 worldwide.
Guided wine tour packages to Tuscany include hotel accommodation, all wine tastings, all meals, and wine at meals, winery visits, and local transport. Exclusive wine tasting vacations to Tuscany, Italy.