The Best Winery Tastings in Tuscany
Tuscany offers a picture-perfect landscape with ancient castles and dreamy fields of poppy and lavender. But it also offers some of the best winery experiences in the world. The wine makes your mouth water with its robust tannins and high acidity. And the breathtaking views might make your eyes water too! With so many vineyards in the region, it can be hard to choose one to visit. But in my opinion, there are two wineries that stand above the rest. Here are the best winery tastings in Tuscany:
Castello di Ama
Castello di Ama is a world-renowned winery nestled in the hills outside Siena. First we should talk about the wine itself. Castello di Ama produces some delicious Chianti Classicos with vibrant acidity and notes of juicy cherry. Even their younger vintages are ridiculously well-balanced.
But this Tuscan winery’s crown jewel is L’Apparita, a 100% Merlot Super Tuscan. One vintage of L’Apparita was ranked the best wine of the year by the Académie du Vin in Switzerland. You may get the chance to try the wine during your tasting. Its nose is fragrant with fresh berries, and its mouthfeel is pure velvet. I just had to buy a bottle for myself.
Even though Castello di Ama’s wine is amazing, that’s not what makes it one of the best winery tastings in Tuscany. Throughout the winery and vineyard, you’ll find installations by famous artists such as Anish Kapoor and Daniel Buren. The art collection makes for an unforgettable experience. If you don’t know anything about art, that’s fine. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable. Chances are you will learn about more than just wine on your visit.
Aside from being experts in art and wine, the staff at Castello di Ama are incredibly friendly. At some wineries, you feel like you are being conned by salesmen. But at this winery, you are never rushed or manipulated. While there, I enjoyed a nice chat with the tasting room server about wine and travel. We didn’t talk about purchases until I brought it up myself. That’s because they put the guest’s experience first.
Outside of San Gimignano is a winery called Tenuta Torciano. Like my other favorite winery tasting, the people of Tenuta Torciano are all about giving their guests a good time. But instead of a fancy, high-brow experience, this winery tasting felt like a dinner with family.
You can choose from several different tastings and tours. Most of them include a romantic meal, which pairs beautifully with each of the wines. My meal included a refreshing Panzanella salad and the best lasagna I’ve ever eaten. After one bite, I immediately felt like I was enjoying grandma’s cooking. Turns out someone’s grandma actually did make the lasagna for me! Sadly, she did not give up her secret recipe.
My server was fun and friendly. While she talked about Tenuta Torciano’s wine, she also joked around and taught me some Italian phrases. She clearly enjoyed her job, and she made sure I enjoyed my time too.
Together we tasted a generous amount of wines. There was Vernaccia, Chianti, Brunello, Prosecco, and more. I particularly enjoyed the Brunello’s notes of chocolate and black cherry. When the tasting finally ended, I felt relaxed enough to buy a whole case. Luckily, my self-control held out.
Regardless, whether you purchase any wine is besides the point. Tenuta Torciano is one of the best winery tastings in Tuscany because the winery feels like home. Yes, they offer some fancier options like helicopter tours and cooking classes. But that’s not necessary. No matter how you tour or taste, the people of Tenuta Torciano are sure to show you a good time.
Tuscany is truly one of the best places in the world for wine. I highly encourage you to take the trip. But don’t forget about the rest of the country. Italy has tons of great destinations.