Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Wineries We Visited in Tuscany
Amy from MA
We did a bit of visiting and tasting in the Chianti and Montalcino areas, primarily using Carla Capalbo's book as a resource, along with my sister's bulging files. With my uneducated palate, I'm just as appreciative of the plonk aged in cement as a 93 Brunello, I'm embarrassed to report.
For most places (except for the largest or the enotecas), call ahead to make an appointment. We hadn't done as much calling ahead when we went to Montalcino, so missed out on some places. Met a funny old man outside Montalcino sitting on a chair by the road with his chickens, who turned out to be Baricci himself. (Boohoo, no tastings!)
Here are some of the places we especially enjoyed visiting.
We visited Casa Emma (just outside San Donato), and tasted several bottles. Liked the 1997 Riserva we had sampled from a store, but the winery was out of those, something we experienced at other places whose popular vintages have sold well. The 98 was also good. Pretty tasting room, the kids enjoyed going down to the winery rooms.
Castello Di Volpaia
Now, this is a journey well worth taking. We drove around Radda three times in the rain before we found the tiny turnoff outside town that eventually leads over hill and dale up to Volpaia. Gorgeous old hill town, where many of the stone buildings have been filled with the winery equipment. Kind and patient lady in the tasting room. Since we were the only lunatics insane enough to drive up in the rain, we had a lovely tasting. They make some interesting wines beyond Chianti, and I do love the 97 Riserva. The kids were delighted to taste the wonderful honeys, vinegars and oils. Exercised that poor MasterCard.
Isole E Olena
Beautiful place outside Barberino, a cute little hill town with some simple restaurants and a gelato store in the lower portion. They only have their Vin Santo for tasting at this time. Nice people.
Well, we tried. Couldn't find the place. If anyone sees that sign, please let me know! Divorce almost ensued.
Went to the large one in Castellina that primarily showcases the La Castellina products, which are fine. The 97 Riserva is a good buy.
Fattoria Del Barbi
Off main road from Montalcino. Gorgeous tasting room with lots of informative printouts about their products, and what looked and smelled like a nice restaurant. We did some tasting, although didn't have time for the guided tasting and tour. (You need to book ahead for this). Bought some 95 Brunello.
Wanted to get here, but the estate seems to be under lots of construction.
Enoteca La Fortezza
This is the big enoteca in the fabulous Montalcino Fortezza. Great climb up to the ramparts, for those who aren't vertigo sissies like me. We did a lot of tasting here, and liked the Poggio Antico, Barbi, Caparzo, and Fuligni. Prices here are pretty good.
www.monterinaldi.it: This winery in Chianti will mail you a free map of the region.
Amy is a preschool teacher in the Boston area, and a Moderator on the SlowTrav.com message board.
© Amy Gilman, 2001
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