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Touring the Wine Regions of Italy

You may have guessed from our name, “Tuscany Tours and Wineries,” that we do visit wineries while in Italy.  You would be correct.  If however you thought we only visit wineries in Tuscany you would be mistaken.

The Romans understood which grapes were best suited to certain soils and climates and tried to plant accordingly. That tradition continues today and thus learning about major wine making regions is a good way to learn about Italian wines.

Italy is a long country and the climate and soil varies greatly as you travel from north to south.

There are now twenty different wine producing areas based upon differences in climate and soil and the varietal wines that are produced.  As we travel around Italy we provide opportunities for wine tasting in several different regions.

Northern Italy is near the mountains and experiences cold winters, hot summers and great variation in daytime and nighttime temperatures.  during our 2018 Northern Italy Cooking School and Wine Tour we taste Borolo and Barbaresco wines from the Piedmont region that are made using Nebbio grapes.

the Veneto

During our stay in Venice we will take a day trip to the hill towns of the Veneto.  In Bassano di Grappa we will experience a byproduct of the winemaking process.

The Poli Distillery uses the skins of the grapes to make grappa–in many flavors such as chocolate, lemon, cappuccino. We travel on and after lunch  we visit Ca’ Salina winery and taste several varieties of Prosecco.

When we visit the Cinque Terre near the Ligurian sea we find one of the most beautiful of Italy’s wine districts. The classic Cinque Terre wine is a dry white made of Bosco, Albarola and Vermentino grapes.  The light refreshing white wines refresh the tourists who flock there to enjoy the scenery.

Many of the Cinque Terre vineyards are planted on steep slopes close to the sea.  It is not surprising that the Vermentino wine it is most known for has a somewhat salty with a hint of citrus and green apple.

When we arrive at the villa in Levanto we will be welcomed with locally produced Prosecco.  Although most wine from this region is light and dry, it also produces sweet Cinque Terre Sciacchetra.

Just hearing “Tuscany” reminds us of vineyards, family homes and outdoor tables where food and wine are an integral part of the culture.  The area south of Florence is known as the Chianti region.

Though it is not as close to the sea as the Cinque Terre the Mediterranean Sea influences the climate and the soil of this region.  The Sangiovese grapes that are grown here are Italy’s most popular wine grape.

It is used to produce Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile de Montepulciano, Chianti, Chianti Classico and others.  In addition to these reds the area also produces a well known white wine- Vernaccia di San Gimignano.  Super Tuscan Wines are also produced in this area.

The Super Tuscan is the final expression of the winemakers skill and creativity.  The wine can be made with a variety of grapes, but 85% must come from this region.  They are  sometimes difficult to find outside the latest vintage and for that reason can become quite expensive.

During our travels with Tuscany Tours and Wineries we have accompanied our clients on several different Chianti Wine Tours.

In the early days we used big bus tours and while we enjoyed the wine we wanted a more personal experience.

Eventually we found a private Chianti Wine tour for just our small group.  The wines are great and the experience could not be more fun.

As a result of the relationship we have made with the winemaker at Tenuta Torciano Winery near SanGimignano, we are able to bring Italian wine to Wisconsin for tasting on March 10, 2018.  Reservations are required and the number of participants is limited.

Italy is home to some of the oldest wine producing regions in the world.  It is the world’s largest producer of wine by volume.

Winemaking in Italy goes back thousands of years. Obviously we cannot visit all 20 wine regions in Italy in a two week trip.  We plan our trips around what our clients want to see and do.

Our goal is to expose clients to the Italian culture.  Wine is an integral part of that culture and we seek to provide wine experiences in all the regions we visit.