Tuscany Wine Tour
THE BEST OF TUSCANY
A Luxury Tour for Lovers of Tuscan Food and Wine
May 9 - 13, 2016
Hosted by Philip Goodband MW
In collaboration with my friend Filippo, we have put together the ALL STAR trip to the greatest wineries in Tuscany. You’ll visit the best wineries in a dynamic region that has extremely traditional producers making wine next to modernists.
On this tour, you will experience:
- Super Tuscan Heaven with visits to Ornellaia, Guado al Tasso, lunch at Castello del Terriccio, and a dinner to remember at Tua Rita;
- Magnificence in Montalcino with a visit to the idyllic hill-top town of Montalcino and the beautiful Brunellos of Sesti and Argiano;
- Classic Chianti with a tasting hosted by the Chianti Classico Academy as well as visits to the icons Castello di Ama and Castello di Monsanto, and dinner at Castell'in Villa;
- First class treatment at our hotels Poggio ai Santi and Relais Borgo San Felice, a Michelin-starred lunch at La Pineta, and a Michelin-starred 3-course Tignanello tasting at lunch at Osteria di Passignano set amongst the vines.
This is a luxury trip with outstanding food, wine and hotels. It will be very educational, as well as a lot of fun. Along with the amazing wines you will also learn about olive oil, have an option to go to cooking school, and kick back in the gorgeous Tuscan countryside. If you haven’t been, you should.
You will be hosted by Philip Goodband MW, one of only 320 Masters of Wine worldwide, who served as wine adviser to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother for over a decade. A true wine professional with a deep knowledge and love for Italy and its wines, particularly those of Tuscany, dating back to the days when he represented Antinori in the UK and now lecturing in Florence. A UK resident and former Chairman of the Institute of Masters of Wine, his work and travels for major wine companies and consultancy, have taken him around the globe, resulting in a unique blend of knowledge and experience which he happily shares in a very enjoyable and engaging style. www.philipgoodband.com. For your entertainment, the arm waving Filippo will also be there to take care of you, our local partner.
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 of my connections through purchasing wine and Filippo’s friendships with producers. You’ll experience parts of Tuscany that most will never see and try exclusive wines. We take a maximum of 20 guests allowing for a diverse yet intimate group.
Price: CAD $3,750 (including tax)
The cost is per person is 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 and travel arrangements to/from Florence are not included.
If you are travelling by yourself there will be a single supplement of CAD $750.
The payment schedule is:
- $500 upon registration
- $2000 at 120 days
- $1250 (plus single supplement if applicable) at 90 days
To Join the Tour: Simply click on the book now icon at the top of the page. If you have any questions, please email Dave, your personal travel concierge, and ask all your questions at David@FineVintageLtd.com.
All of the visits are already confirmed. Here is the program.
Day 1: Monday, May 9 – The Tuscan Coast
Meet with Philip and Filippo in the lobby of the Baglioni Hotel in Florence. This hotel is 200 meters from the train station and very central in Florence. If you are looking for the very best place to stay the night before then we recommend The Four Seasons Hotel. Another option is the Hotel Roma Florence, about 200 meters away, which is less expensive.
Grand Hotel Baglioni
Piazza Unità Italiana 6, Firenze, Italia
10.00 am departure by luxury bus to the coast
Board the luxury bus and we’re off to the land of the Super-Tuscans.
Visit and Lunch at Castello del Terriccio
Dating back to the 14th century, Castello del Terriccio has been owned by counts, princes, and nobility for hundreds of years. More than 4,000 acres of prime land are devoted to cultivating olives, cereals, and of course, grapes. Our tour will be followed by a tasting, a visit to the olive press, and then a beautiful lunch with several of the estate’s wines. Our visit will be a great start to the Tuscan life of great wines, long lunches, and gently rolling hills. www.terriccio.it
Check in at the Hotel Poggio ai Santi
Nestled up in the hills you arrive at a Tuscan farm surrounded by beautiful gardens, olive groves and vineyards, with a stunning view of the Mediterranean. Most guests have said that this is their favourite hotel because it is so characterful. Many of the rooms are petty little cottages tucked away in the gardens. They are very luxurious, and done in a classic Tuscan country style.
We’ll have a few hours to relax, maybe a dip in the pool, a few glasses of wine and a siesta. www.poggioaisanti.com
Depart for Suvereto
Just 15 minutes from the hotel is a tiny little Tuscan village that dates back hundreds of years. This is where Filippo lives. He’s going to be the next Mayor! While we sip on bubbly and have some small bites and soak in the atmosphere of the medieval village.
Visit and Dinner at Tua Rita
Just before dusk we drive 5 minutes to Tua Rita winery. Tua Rita is a Super Tuscan cult wine that was the first ever in Tuscany to get a 100 point Parker rating. After visiting the vineyard and the cellar we will have several courses for dinner in their private dining room along with a large number of wines, including their top cuvees. It’s a great first night. www.tuarita.it
Day 2: Tuesday, May 10 – Super Tuscan Heaven
9:45 am Depart hotel
Following espresso and breakfast, we have a short drive through the idyllic Tuscan countryside to one of the benchmark wineries, Guado al Tasso.
Visit and Tasting at Guado al Tasso
The Antinori-owned Guado al Tasso estate is located near Bolgheri, the wine capital of the region. In my opinion, Antinori is the best major wine company in Italy. It is a powerhouse, run by a family that is fixated on quality, and the gorgeous wines of Guado al Tasso exemplify that. After a tour of the vineyards and cellars we go to the main house for a lovely tasting accompanied by some small delicious bites. www.antinori.it
After our visit to Guado al Tasso we have a short time wandering the cobblestoned streets of Bolgheri before our seafood lunch to end all seafood lunches at La Pineta.
Lunch at La Pineta
This Michelin 1-star rated restaurant, situated right on the beach, is one of Italy’s top seafood restaurants. Our lunch will be paired with a wide variety of Italian white wines, including some varietals you may never have heard of.
Visit and Tasting at Ornellaia
Now in the hands of the Frescobaldi family the Tenuta dell’Ornellaia is one of the most super of the Super Tuscans. Highly prized, it is a feature in any serious collector’s cellar. The ultra-cult Masseto vineyard is here too, and so we’ll see inside the pinnacle of super Tuscan cult wines that sell for thousands of dollars and score very high points. www.ornellaia.com
After a full day visiting 2 icons it’s time to head back to the hotel for some free time before dinner.
Dinner at Poggio ai Santi
After a more formal dinner on the first evening it’s time for something more casual, but with delicious food and some staggering wines, including the likes of old vintage Sassicaia and others. We will also taste the wine from the hotel’s own vineyards with dishes showcasing local specialties.
Day 3: Wednesday, May 11 – Brunello di Montalcino
9:30 am – Check Out and Depart for Montalcino
After espresso and breakfast on the terrace we check out of the hotel and are off to taste some of the best Brunellos. These 100% pure Sangiovese wines benefit from a unique terroir and cannot be released until they have 5 years of ageing. It’s a spectacular drive up into the hills where two benchmark producers await our visit.
Tour and Tasting at Argiano
This is the Tuscan Castello that you always imagined. It’s amazing. Over 500 years old, with cavernous underground cellars, and flags flying from the turrets on the rooftops. This impressive estate has a reputation for fine, elegant, complex and long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. After visiting the cellars and learning about the production process we have a seated tasting of several different vintages and styles of wine, including their own Super-Tuscan. www.argiano.net
After that, just a few hundred metres down the cypress-tree lined gravel road is Sesti, our next appointment, and certainly home to some of the best wines on the tour.
Visit and Lunch at Sesti
Profiled on the front cover of Decanter magazine, and winner of countless awards, is the small family-owned and extremely characterful estate called Sesti. I love this place. After a tour of the small cellars and an aperitif on the lawn it’s time to go inside their own church for lunch, where we’ll enjoy a slew of amazing vintages with the family. The wines can be quite expensive, but worth every penny. www.sestiwine.com
After lunch, we will make our way to the hilltop town of Montalcino where you will have a short time to wander the quaint streets. Coffee time!
Check-in at Relais Borgo San Felice
Borgo San Felice is part of the luxurious Relais & Châteaux group. It’s a borgo, or a hamlet, with comfortable and modern accommodation in a historical setting surrounded by vineyards. www.borgosanfelice.it
Tonight is a free evening. You can take a taxi to Sienna, but a short drive away, and have dinner in the square, or maybe room service has your name on it.
Day 4: Thursday, May 12 - The Magic of Chianti Classico
You’ve been working hard, eating, drinking and giggling your way around Tuscany. So it’s time for some relaxation in the morning. You can do the optional winery tour of the hotel’s own estate, or have a spa treatment at the property, or hang out at the pool. We can organize a small group cooking school upon request.
12:30 pm - Lunch at Borgo San Felice
We always say it’s a light lunch, but it’s not really. I’ve never experienced such a thing in Italy. So just sit back on the terrace, enjoy the different dishes and wash it down with a few glasses of the hotel’s own wine.
We then drive about half an hour to the village of Radda in Chianti to start learning about the region’s wines.
Visit and Tasting at Chianti Classico Academy
We kick off in a convent that is home to the Consortium Chianti Classico DOCG, which manages the region’s wines and olive oil producers. We have a short presentation about this important wine region in the world and then taste a flight of wines to illustrate the different styles and quality levels. www.classico.com
Visit and Tasting at Castello di Ama
After the Chianti Classico Academy, and a short time to explore the town of Radda, we go to visit one of the most incredible wineries I’ve ever seen. First, they make some of the very best olive oil in Tuscany and we’ll learn all about that and taste the oils. Then we’ll have a tasting of some staggering single vineyard wines. And finally we’ll wonder through the tiny hamlet that is owned by the estate, full of modern art and ancient relics. This is one of the best winery visits you’ll ever have, and certainly some of the best wines on the tour.
Visit and Dinner at Castell'In Villa
I’m really hoping that the most delightful owner will be here to receive us again. She is a Princess by title, and a most lovely lady. The estate is truly astonishing with art pieces, old cellars, new wings with modern equipment, a hamlet, it’s something else. We have our final dinner here too, with a slew of amazing wines, and the atmosphere of the estate always seems to bring out the fun and laughter in everyone at dinner. www.castellinvilla.com
Day 5: Friday, May 13 – Icons of Chianti
We check out of the hotel at 10.00 am for our grand finale. Today, we will visit the ultra-traditional estate of Monsanto and then have a decadent lunch at a 1 star Michelin restaurant, with a spectacular line up of wines to pair with the tasting menu. Think Tignanello…
Visit and Tasting at Castello di Monsanto
We’ve seen some spectacular cellars on the trip but none of them tops Castello di Monsanto, where you walk on a red carpet for a few hundred meters through the magnificent cellars. Castello di Monsanto is one of the most respected estates in Tuscany, and one of the top producers of traditional Chianti Classico Riserva. After the tasting, which includes some older vintages that they are famous for, we visit the small cellar where they age their sweet wine, Vin Santo. http://www.castellodimonsanto.it
Lunch at Osteria di Passignano
Our last meal is but a stone’s throw from Tignanello, Antinori’s famous estate in Chianti Classico, where our 3-course tasting menu will feature a spectacular line-up of wines including Tignanello. This is a final blow out lunch and certainly some of the best food and wine on the trip. We also have a tasting of olive oils and taste wines from other parts of Tuscany and Umbria. www.osteriadipassignano.com
At 3.30 pm we’ll head off to Florence. You’ll be glad we are not eating or drinking for another day; five days is plenty! It’s a perfect amount of time to see the best wineries, learn an enormous amount, eat excellent food, and learn all about the wines.
We will drop people off in Florence at around 4.30 pm at The Baglioni Hotel just 200 meters away. The tour is then finished. We have left time here for delays, but please don’t cut it too close for flights and trains etc… The airport is about 30 minutes’ taxi from the city centre.
This is a luxurious trip, hosted by local and international wine experts, visiting the great estates with a small group of about 20 like-minded fun-loving people. It’s suited to all wine lovers.
Featured wine tasting holiday to Tuscany, Italy:
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