Home to the world-renowned Chianti region, Tuscany is a popular destination among international wine aficionados. Not only does the region produce some of the country’s most delicious wines, it is one of the most beautiful parts of Tuscany. Stretching out around the magical cities of Florence and Siena, as well as Arezzo and Pisa, the area is extensive, which means there’s lots to see - and taste! |
The history of the area is rich and dramatic - almost like its eponymous drink. The first wine zone was marked out there in the eighteenth century, however, in the late 1970s (after it had slightly fallen out of favour) rogue winemakers started producing outside the official zone. It took some time, but eventually, the rules of local winemaking were updated to allow for a certain amount of these international grapes.
Although the area offers a feast for the senses, if you’re pushed for time, a Chianti tour from Florence is a fantastic way to dip your toes into the wonderful world of its winemaking traditions. Taking a day or half day tour is the perfect opportunity to learn a little about the area’s history as well as educate your palate on the difference between a Florentine and the Sienese Chianti (both are delicious).
Before diving in (nose first) here’s a beginner’s guide to top tastes to try in Tuscany!
You can’t do a tour here and not try Sangiovese. It’s at the heart of the area’s winemaking with a clear, rosy hue and sumptuous notes of cherries cut through with mouth-watering acidity.
There are many rules that come with Italian wine, especially this one! After some modernisation in the seventies, the appellation earned Italy’s highest level of wine classification: Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG). Then, in 1996, the Chianti Classico and DOGC became their own separate regions.
The DOGC requires a minimum of 70% Sangiovese and a maximum of 10% being the white grapes Malvasia and Trebbiano. Grapes from all over the region (except the Classico zone) can be blended into the wine, which is made to be enjoyed while young and fresh.
Produced in the heart of the region, wines of this appellation are considered the highest quality on offer in this part of the country and a must-try for anyone thinking about doing a Chianti tour from Florence. Characterised by refreshing acidity, the Classico DOGC are usually made from grapes planted higher up than the DOGC. You’ll notice flavours of spice and cherry juice and the tannins increase with the quality. Nowadays, they are mostly aged in oak casks, which results in a more transparent liquid.
Although it might be small in comparison, this zone is considered to offer the best quality wines, after the Classico. Set furthest from the coast and with high elevation, the Sangiovese are able to ripen more slowly. This results in a juicy acidity and is quite irresistible.
This is just a glimpse into the fascinating world of Tuscan wines. For the full experience, booking a Chianti tour from Florence with a local guide is highly recommended. Having someone from the region to talk you through everything will bring the place alive and make your trip even more memorable.
Mauro Bramante is the Director of WalkAbout Florence, an independent business offering unforgettable tours and excursions around Italy including the best Chianti tour from Florence. Whether you want to ride a Vintage Vespa, try the famous Chianti wine or get cooking with fresh local ingredients, Mauro's company promises excitement, adventure and above all, fun. If you're keen to experience the magic of Italy with the help of some passionate and knowledgeable tour guides, look no further than WalkAbout Florence for your next getaway.
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