During our stay in Florence, we wanted to experience surrounding Tuscany. To make this happen, we registered for a tour of the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany with a company called Tuscan Wine Tours by Grape Tours.
We purchased tickets for the tour in advance of our arrival, which was necessary to ensure there was space on the tour for the day that we wanted. I wish we could have spent more time exploring Tuscany, and all the different wine sub-regions or demoninations (DOCG’s), but since time was limited, we selected the iconic Chianti Classico wine region.
what is Chianti Classico?
What makes Chianti Classico unique compared to other Chianti wines is the unmistakable label with the Black Rooster seal. Chianti Classico is a DOCG wine that shows unique peculiarities and characteristics. To be named “Classico” and receive a Black Rooster seal, the wine not only must be produced in the Chianti wine region, but it also must adhere to specific rules. To produce a Chianti Classico wine, the grape/varietal blend must be composed of 80% Sangiovese red grapes typical of the area and 20% other red grapes in the area like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.
We selected a half-day morning wine tour of the Chianti Classico region called Wine Time. For 120 euros per person, we received the following:
- Short wine tasting class at the Tuscan Wine School in Florence prior to tour departure
- Transportation with a Wine Expert’s commentary about the wine region
- Visit 3 wineries in the Chianti Classico region
- Taste Chianti Classico, Riserva & different Super Tuscans
- Delicious light meal at the third winery
We loved the tour. Our quick wine class was informative, and gave us the information required to get the most out of our morning. It also helped me realize that you should always start your day at 9:30am with a large glass of Chianti Classico red wine. No judging allowed – we were on vacation!
After driving for a few short minutes, our driver pulled over to give us a few minutes to take in the stunning views of Florence from the Piazzale Michelangelo. The Piazzale Michelangelo is quite the hike from the centre of Florence, so it was great to be able to stop and take in the views as part of our tour.
All the wineries we visited were beautiful, iconically Tuscan, and produced and served delicious wines. The light meal was fantastic, complete with delicious olive oils, bread and homemade pasta. At the beginning, our group of approximately 15 people were all strangers, and by the end of the tour, we were all friends. Ridiculous amounts of delicious red wine before 3pm is bound to do that to people!
The Wine Time tour allowed us to experience an incredible half day in Tuscany. It helped us realize that our true love is the whole of Tuscany itself. And the wine. We have already vowed to take a return vacation to Tuscany as a destination, to properly explore, and taste our way through all the unique regions it has to offer.
*All photos & opinions are my own.