Ah, Tuscany! One of our favorite destinations. This is some of the best wine in the world. The region also has such a rich history – and some of the best wine experiences for a wine aficionado. We’ve written about some of these great times before.
On our latest trip to Tuscany, we were introduced to three wonderful wineries that blended all three: great wines, ancient pasts, and unforgettable guided wine tasting experiences. So we just had to share!
1. Villa Sant’Anna
Villa Sant’Anna, located in a medieval village in the hills outside of Montepulciano, has been in the same family for more than 220 years, and is operated by fifth-generation owner Simona Ruggeri Fabroni and her two daughters. Simona herself gave us a tour of the century-old underground cellars, and kept asking if we wanted to see more, to which we of course said yes, so we got to see much more than we expected and stayed much longer.
For instance, we were able to visit the area where the winery ages its premier Vin Santo Toscano, a traditional Tuscan dessert wine, which at this winery goes through fermentation and refinement for at least eight years.
Simona was particularly personable, full of anecdotes and information, such as the adage that a person who finishes a bottle of wine gets good luck. I like that!
After first cleansing our plates with bread, we sat down to a generous wine tasting with charcuterie and cheese in what used to be a granary.
Chianti Colli Senesi, which Simona called “her” wine, fresh, not complex 😊
Rosso di Montepulciano, a more complex red, 😊++
Nobile di Montepulciano, opened that day 😊++
Nobile di Montepulciano, opened the day before 😊😊
Poldo Nobile di Montepulciano, her top wine, with which you “sit and talk” 😊😊+
The Vin Santo. Very dark and rich. 😊++
Her olive oil 😊++
2. De’Ricci Cantine Storiche
De’Ricci Cantine Storiche is in the heart of the town of Montepulciano. The winery dates back to the 1500s but has caves that date to the ancient Etruscans, the civilization that existed in this area millennia ago and that was conquered by Rome in 364 BC.
It’s one of the most beautiful wineries to tour, with gothic, vaulted ceilings in the cellar and several naves. It also has a fun backstory. In the 12th Century, Riccio de’Ricci could accurately predict the weather. He saved himself from being prosecuted as a sorcerer for this talent by revealing that his predictions were based on observing how hedgehogs looked at the sun (this explains the winery’s hedgehog logo and coat of arms).
We had an excellent tour of the cellars with our guide Debbie, and then on the main floor had a great tasting of six wines, with charcuterie and cheese.
Rosso Montepulciano 😊+
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 😊+
SorAldo Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, the winery’s pride and joy 😊++
Il Vignone, a Super Tuscan 😊+
Severo, a Super Tuscan 😊😊
3. Fattoria di Fiano - Ugo Bing
For a change of pace from Montepulciano, we ventured to Fiano, in the Chianti Colli Fiorentini area near Florence for a tour and wine tasting at Fattoria di Fiano, also known as Ugo Bing, the name of the owner. It dates back to the 12th Century, and has been owned by this family since 1940. We were driven there by Dejan of Tuscany Vespa and Bike Tours (we were in a minivan; I’m not that adventurous). Dejan in his spare time is a standup comedian – which was an added bonus since he was hysterical and kept us laughing during the trip.
We enjoyed a very informative tour of the cellars with Francesco, the owner’s son. The family discovered the ruins of an Etruscan house under their own several years ago during a renovation. The winery has excavated some of the ruins, so we were able to take a peek.
The winery, as with many others in Tuscany, specializes in red wines, since Tuscan soil is better suited to reds. The winery has experimented with producing rosé and orange wine simply because it’s trendy, but doesn’t advertise it because it’s so different from what’s traditional. The winery will also make Vin Santo if the year has been “lucky.”
We had our wine tasting in the kitchen of the farmhouse above the cellar, accompanied by an ample lunch of salad, charcuterie, pasta, parmesan cheese, and olive oil. We were originally going to taste four wines, but Francesco was very generous and wanted us to try additional vintages.
Chianti Colli Fiorentini 2018 😊+
Chianti Colli Fiorentini Riserva 2013😊+
Chianti Colli Fiorentini Riserva 2009 😊😊
Fianesco, a Super Tuscan 2012 😊😊
Chianti Colli Fiorentini Riserva 2005 😊😊
Chianti Colli Fiorentini Riserva 2010 😊😊
We hope that our sharing of these three wonderful wineries in Tuscany will help you plan your next trip to this awesome wine region. Do you recommend any other wineries in Tuscany? Please let us know! We’re at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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