Are you one of the many Europeans dreaming of going on a countryside holiday between the vinyards to Tuscany? Then come along and be open to receive a few useful travel tips for your vineyard holiday.
Wine culture since the Etruscans
There is hardly any other region in Italy that has gained a greater reputation for its vineyards and its wine than Tuscany. And the region has everything to comfirm its reputation, already in Etruscan times, in the eighth century BC, Tuscany was an important wine region in Italy. From here they accomplished a lively wine trade with other regions of Italy, not least the southern part of the country and the country's center, Rome.
In the Middle Ages the monks and developed the Tuscan wine culture further. Within the region several centuries later, in 1716, it was subject of perhaps the world's first official wine districts when the Archduke of Tuscany, Cosimo III de Medici, formally designated the four areas in the region, which according to his opinion, produced the best wine and olive oil; these were Carmignano, Chianti, Pomino and Val d'Arno di Sopra.
Innovative wine culture
In modern times, the Tuscan wine production, praised for its favorable growing sangiovese grape, often has been overshadowed by the French; and until 1970 the level of the Tuscan wine production was not of constant quality.
Within the last 40 years, the so-called Supertoscanske wines rebelled against the generally low level of quality among the Tuscan wines. The level since has increased dramatically and the region is now not just the third largest production of DOC / DOCG wines in Italy but also one of the most innovative and exciting wine cultures in the country.
Tuscany's many vineyards
The best way to experience the Tuscan wine culture of course, is to visit some of the places where wine is produced. When you do this, also include some of the small family run wineries that are scattered around the region, which in size and nature vary from the colossal wineries, which is are owned by a cooperative.
Before you embark on a vineyard holiday to Tuscany, there are a number of things that are useful to keep in mind:
Prepare at home
It is a good idea beforehand to familiarize yourself with the wineries you want to visit before you leave from your house. Of course you can also choose to run around and visit the places randomly that you happen to come by on the road when you are in Tuscany.
So if you want to be sure to visit a winery that you know the quality, and you can also easlily find without spending a lot of time to run around in the wild, it's a good idea to prepare yourself home.
Reserve your visit
Some wineries offer tastings and tours organized, but you should examine this prior to your vineyards a visit. Many wineries, especially the smaller ones, expect you to make an appointment for your visit before you show up. This as they often need to prepare the tastings.
Larger wineries that have a larger store or a selling room for guests, are usually open to the public and here you can, in most cases, visit any time during the day, except between the hours. 13 and 15, lunch and siesta.
Finally, it is also important to remember that there are wineries that do not accept or appreciate visitors.
Wine tastings at wineries in Tuscany are in some cases free of charge (after which you will normally be expected to buy something from the farm shop),in other cases you need to pay a fee, which varies from vineyard to vineyard. Again, it is a good idea to check conditions in advance.
More information about a Vineyard holiday.
Although Tuscany is the region where you find the highest number of vineyards in Italy there's many other exciting holiday destinations where you can stay in the middle of the vineyards, just think of vineyards in Piedmont, Veneto or Sicily, and at In-Italia we have a wide selection of handpicked hotels and villas surrounded by charming wineries in all regions. Read more about winery holiday in other destinations in Italy