Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!
[ Destinations ][ Italy ][ Tuscany ]

We can’t stop wining in Tuscany!

“In Italy they add work and life on to food and wine.”
~Robin Leach

We took the train from Venice to Florence then hopped in our rental car and made our way to the Tuscany region.  We decided to rent a car so we would be able to explore the area.  We picked up our car at the Florence airport and headed in the direction of our hotel, Castello delle Serre, in the town of Rapolano.  With no real plan in mind, we let the road guide us… which turned out to be quite interesting. Check out our favorite stops for the best Tuscany wine and food!

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

We weren’t seeing very many winery signs, so we decided to pull off at an exit to explore.  We happened upon a wooden sign that said “Wine and Olive Oil Tasting” so we made our first stop.

We entered the home and were greeted by an elderly man.  He spoke no English and we spoke no Italian, but he saw the familiar look in our eyes and lead us to his “tasting room”.  He sat these five bottles in front of us along with two glasses.  We are assuming he said “Drink what you want” in Italian, because after saying that, he left the room for a long period of time.  We tried all of the wines and realized they were just common table wines, but we didn’t care.  We were in Italy and in a strange man’s home who we were struggling to communicate with… Awesome!  The man finally returned with a plate of bread for us to try our some olive oils.

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!
After a few minutes of trying to talk and pointing on a map where we were from, we headed to the car and were on the road again!

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!
We drove around the area, pulling off the road here and there to take pictures of the vineyards.

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

 

After driving around a little, we ended up finding Furnace Di Montecchio and we quickly learned that we had been traveling through the Chianti region of Tuscany.

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!
We entered the winery area and were greeted promptly by the staff.  We learned that we would be sampling some Chianti.  We also learned some of the history of the winery and also more about Chianti.  To be considered Chianti, the wine must have the proper blend of grapes and be grown in a specific region of Chianti.  If these “rules” are followed, the wine can be labeled as Chianti Classico, it receives a black rooster seal (know as gallo nero in Italian) and the government seal of approval along with serial number.

So remember, the next time you are buying a bottle of Chianti, look for the bottle that says “Chianti Classico” with a black rooster seal and government label near the top.   Now you are official!

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!
We tasted the wines while snacking on some freshly made bruschetta.

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!
After a long train ride, two wineries and the fact we were driving a rental car in a foreign country, we decided it would be best to head to the hotel to check in.  But there would be more wine coming soon!

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!
We decided to book a wine tour with a local guide to show us around the area and discuss with us a more in depth history of the region.  A personal guide not only provides a designated driver but we also got a personalized tour of the area including much of the history we wouldn’t have learned otherwise!  If you make it to Tuscany, we recommend Gianni at Tours Around Tuscany…..he was a wealth of knowledge and very accommodating!  We started our day at the Tenuta Valdipiatta winery.

 

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!
We learned about wine history in the area and then we began to learn about the wine making. We toured the factory area and learned about the fermentation process, but then we were lead outside to a door in the hillside.  It was a magical door that took us inside the mountain where the wine was being stored and aged.  The mountain provided the perfect setting for the wine to mature over time in the barrels.  It was naturally at the correct temperature all year round and protected from the elements.

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

 

 

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

After exploring the aging room, we walked in the vineyard to see this years crop.

 

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

 

 

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

After exploring the vineyards, it was time to get down to business.

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!
We tried four different wines and also Grappa.  Amanda smelled the grappa and knew it was too strong, so I took one for the team and drank her glass.  It would be rude to waste it!

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!
Next up, we explored the town of Montepulciano.

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

 

We walked around town the picturesque town filled with narrow alleys just as we envisioned it would look!

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

 

 

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

I enjoy taking pictures of doors.  Amanda always makes fun of me, but I think they are awesome.  Mental note… Need to write a blog post about doors.

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!
We were led into another wine store and found the aging room/storage area which was again inside the side of the mountain!  We entered and could immediately smell the wine barrels.  The place was huge!

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

 

While exploring the town, there was an unlimited amount of stops to take pictures.  It was a beautiful panoramic views all around.

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

 

 

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

The best scenery shot of them all!  I want to live in this shop.

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!
After leaving our visit to Montepulciano, we headed for the next town of Monticchiello which would be our lunch break.

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

 

Our lunch stop was at Osteria La Porta.  It has a great terrace seating area overlooking the countryside.

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

 

 

 

Our meal featured wines from the region and we were quick to indulge.

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

 

As in any Italian meal, it contained the three major food groups:  Wine, Pasta and Cured Meat. This is a sampling of the different types of pasta made throughout the region.  The waitress explained the difference in pasta cuts and sauce on them.

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

 

Up next was what I believe to be what dreams are made of…
The Holy Trinity:  Prosciutto, Goat Cheese and Truffles.
I think I need to add it to my death row meal.

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!
As lunch ended, we decided to take a stroll around the quiet town.  It was amazing how quiet it was throughout.  We felt as if we were the only ones in town that day.

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!
After our time in Monticchiello, we made our way to the next town.  It was great having a driver to transport us from destination to destination.  He explained everything we were passing and gave us some history about the region.  It was nice to just sit back and relax while looking out the windows.  He even stopped at picturesque spots along the way so we can get those classic Tuscan photos!

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

 

 

 

 

Up next:  Montalcino – better known for it’s Brunello wine….the King of the Tuscany wine region.  Montalcino is know as the walled city on top of the mountain.

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

 

We arrived in Montalcino and were taken to a local wine shop to taste all of the Brunello that we could drink.  Brunello di Montalcino is made from 100% Sangiovese grapes.
So many varieties of Brunello!  We wanted to try them all, but we decided about 10 would be enough!

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

 

Brunello is a type of wine that we are told can taste different depending on the area the grapes are grown around the area.  The terrain below the town is dominated by vines, olive orchards, oak trees, fields and villages.  So in theory, people who really enjoy Brunello, know they like it from the North, South, East or West areas of the Brunello region (depending on where the grapes were grown).  I’m sure it takes a lot of time to develop a palette for the directions, but I wish I could learn the different tastes so I could mess with a sommelier in a restaurant!

After the wine tasting we walked around exploring the beautiful town of Montalcino.  Here is the Fortezza di Montalcino which was built in 1361.

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!
We had a lot of fun just walking around the city taking in all of the sights.  It was again a very peaceful town with very little people around.

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

 

 

Overall it was a great day of wine tasting in Tuscany.  Our wine experience was not yet over.  As we drove the rental car back to Florence on our last day, we decided to make a couple pit stops as well!

Pit Stop #1:  Tenuta Di Arceno Winery

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

 

This 2,500 acre estate lies in Tuscany’s Chianti Classico region.

The Tenuta Di Arceno estate is know for it’s curved vineyards.  So much so that the vineyard design is features on the label of the bottles.

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

After a quick photo session in the vineyard, Amanda and I made our way indoors to try out some wine, check out the view and take advantage of their crisp cool air conditioning!

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!
Wine time!  We were the only people on the estate so we were able to take advantage of a private wine tasting!  We learned some history of the property and the Chianti Classico region.  We ended up trying out six wines and really enjoyed them all.

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

Amanda found her favorite:  Valadorna (which was a Bordeaux red blend)
My favorite:  Strada al Sasso (which is a Chianti Classico Riserva 2009)

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

 

 

Now that we were feeling good from the wine, we decided to take a walk around the estate.

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!
The estate also doubles as a time share/home rentals.  We didn’t run into anyone while we were there, but I am guessing it would cost a pretty penny to rent a place to stay here.  Walking around the estate, you could feel the history.  So many old buildings and well manicured vineyards.  We found this sculpture and remembered it from our tasting session.  Some of their bottles feature this image on the front.

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

 

At this point, we were getting hungry so we decided to take our hotel’s advice and make our way to our lunch spot.  We were told this was a nice place to have lunch in the Chianti region.  After driving for a while on some long and windy roads, up and down hills, we finally started to drive on dirt roads with this view on each side!  We knew we were close.  We could smell pasta in the air… or maybe it was the wine talking to my stomach.

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

Pit Stop #2:  Lunch

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

 

As you can see, like our wine tastings and tours, the place was packed!  We could hardly find a seat.  Where would we sit?   How long is this wait?

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!
Well we finally found a seat… I was nervous for a minute there.

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

Once seated, we were able to order some wine and take in the fabolous view of the vineyards!

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

Now it was time for some food.  I was really happy with the menu.  So many choices, how do I order just one!? We decided to start with the antipasto plate and it didn’t disappoint.

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

 

 

I ordered the Cacio e Pepe… I’m getting hungry looking at it now!

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

The Secondo course was next.  Amanda ordered the pasta with mushrooms.  Nice choice!

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

Because I had what is considered to be a “heavy” Primo course, I decided to order something light… haha just kidding.  I’M IN ITALY!! I ordered the gnocchi!

It was so good looking, it needed to have it’s own private photoshoot!

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

We stayed here for awhile and enjoyed the view.  Sipping on some good wine while relaxing in the shade.

Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

I know I said earlier that I wanted to live in the meat, cheese and wine store, but at this point I have changed my mind.  I want to live on this property.  I’m sure I would weigh 800 pounds after some time, but it would be worth it. This was hands down our favorite stop for the best Tuscany wine and food during our trip.

Overall we had a fantastic few days in Tuscany!  We can’t wait to return but until then we will use our new knowledge of Chianti and Brunello wines to enjoy a bit of Italy at home.

~Brian

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Tuscany, Italy is a wine buffs dream destination! With countless winery options, don't miss these spots for the best wine & food during your next trip to Italy | www.eatworktravel.com - The luxury, adventure travel couple!

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EatWorkTravel

In constant pursuit of luxury, adventure and romance outside the office. We work hard at the office to support our luxury eating and traveling adventures inspiring others to make the most of their time off.

0 Comments

  1. Wow! We love wine tours and exploring wine country and this looks like an amazing exploration of the wine scene in Tuscany! So much to know and so much to taste! And the food with those views? Yes please! p.s. you could do some interesting things with a post about doors!

    1. We couldn’t get enough of the food, views and wine! It exceeded our expectations. Thanks for the support of a door related post 🙂

  2. Have not yet made it to Tuscany, but every pic I see makes me want to make it there. What a wine tour experience to have. Great pics!

    1. Thanks for the comment! While the towns are picture perfect, it still exceeded our expectations!

  3. What a wine tour experience. It is awesome when you can communicate with someone without using language. I hope to get to Tuscany sometime. The pics are fantastic!

    1. Thanks for the comments! Hope you get to experience Tuscany as well!

  4. We did the same thing a few years back. We rented a car and went exploring some of the small villages throughout Tuscany. Had some of the best wine and food in Italy. It looks like you had a wonderful time too!

    1. Glad you have the same wonderful experience that we did 🙂

  5. Tuscany and wine, wine and Tuscany. A match made in heaven

  6. There is so much in this post that I loved- gnocchi, cured meats, Chianti, gorgeous Italian countryside, and doors! I have so many photos of doors!

    1. Glad to hear I’m not alone in my love for door photos!

  7. Ahh…you brought back some amazing memories of Tuscany for me! We had a wine tasting incorporated in one of our tours, though we didn’t do a specific wine tour. We also didn’t visit any of the towns you went to…so this tour has definitely given us some things to return for in Tuscany! 🙂 Thanks for linking up with #WeekendWanderlust!

    1. Thanks for hosting the link-up! We are convinced you can return to Tuscany multiple times and get a different experiences with each trip. It’s definitely on our list for another visit!

  8. I think it is great that you guys had both the guided tour and independent exploring experiences. I a region like this, I think I would choose to do a tour too since I will like to learn about the history of the region and visit as many places as possible. By the way, all the towns in your tour look so pretty.

    1. The best part of the tour was getting the history and explanation of each of the towns we visited. Thanks for checking out our post!

  9. I am so jealous! I am convinced I was born in the wrong country because I am Italian at heart! Although, it is probably a good thing for my health that I do not live there because my favorite things in the world are bread and cheese and pasta!

    1. Agree that bread, cheese and pasta are the best foods! Thanks for the comment.

  10. All your photos look amazing! I’d love to go on a wine tour, see all those fantastic places and taste the great wine. I totally agree with you, that shot with the cheese shop is the best! 😀

    1. Thanks for the comment! Glad to hear we are not the only one that get excited about cheese 🙂

  11. We have not travelled much through Tuscanny and when we did it was really wet. I’d love to go back in warmer weather and explore like you did. Your photos are making my mouth water and I just love those doors. Thank you for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. Thanks for the comment! It was a bit too hot for us in July, we hope to return in the fall to enjoy the outdoors in comfortable temperatures. Thanks for hosting the link-up!

  12. I’ll be in Florence this fall, Amanda, so your insight about Tuscany comes in very handy. I can hardly wait to try their wine.

    1. How great to experience it in the fall. We definitely want to return and when we do we will choose fall as well. Can’t wait to read about your experience!

  13. So stunning! If I read this a couple weeks ago, I probably wouldn’t have thought much of this sort of trip since I wasn’t much of a wine drinker. But I just came back from the Okanagan in BC where we visited many wineries and hello, wine! Would love to explore the wineries in Tuscany to see what they’re like, and to try their wines too 🙂

    1. Glad you had a great time in BC visiting wineries! We consider ourselves wine novices and are wondering why it took us so long to become wine drinkers! Hope you make it to Tuscany and even without the wine there is so much to see and eat 🙂

  14. I LOVE Tuscany!!! Earlier this year I was there and of course, did some wine tasting, as Chianti is one of my favourite wines. I then told my husband that if one day I was to die there, I would die happy 😀
    Amazing photos!!

    #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. Thank you! We did not have an appreciation for Chianti prior to our trip, we know drink it frequently!

      1. You’re welcome 😀
        It’s great isn’t it? I always have a bottle at home.

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