Chianti Wine Tour
Let’s talk about wine. I mean, it is almost impossible to talk about Italy without mentioning wine, or maybe that’s just a me thing. Before my vacation, I had heard how cheap, delicious, an abundant wine was here, and being a girl in her early twenties, I had seen my fair share of romance movies filmed in the Tuscan countryside. So, needless to say, doing a wine tours from Florence to Chianti while I was in Tuscany was on the top of my list.
How to get from Florence to Chianti
My two friends and I booked a half-day wine tour from Florence to the Chianti region and were more than looking forward to it. Again, as girls in their early twenties, this tour appealed to us for a number of reasons. The first reason being price. For only 45 euros we would get to visit two wineries and the town of Greve. Maybe we were too optimistic, but sitting in our college dorm room in North Carolina, it seemed like a great tour and an even better price.
We booked the Chianti wine tour for a few days after we had been in Florence, so we had indulged in the famous Chianti Classico while eating dinner, but by Friday (the day of the tour), we were excited to get out of the chaos of Florence and into the famous Tuscan countryside!
After meeting our group at a cafe at the train station, which a little harder to find than we imagined, we embarked on our exploration! As we drive out of Florence and into the countryside, the scenery looked like it came out of a painting. After winding around little streets, not necessarily enjoyable if you get car sick, we arrived at a small vineyard.
From the bus, which felt huge in comparison to the small stone building, it seemed just like a old home, but as we walked toward the structure, we were greeted with expansive views. This quaint stone building was in fact the family’s home, but they also produced wine and oil here from the land surrounding their home! We first walked through the vineyard learning about how the grapes are transformed from vines to delicious wine.
My girlfriends and I couldn’t stop taking photos, and I was ready for the family to adopt me, or at least give me a job, as I was very sure I could adjust to this lifestyle. Finally it was time for the tasting, the moment we all had been waiting for.
We entered the small structure, which seemed a little small for our group, but definitely added to the experience, and were served a variety of wines produced from their grapes. Of course, we couldn’t have a wine tasting without some traditional Tuscan appetizers, and the family began to serve various cheeses, breads, and olive oil. Honestly, I couldn’t decide what I liked more, the olive oil or the wine. After our sampling, we had some free time to wander around the property and continue to take pictures or buy some of the homemade products. Sadly, it was time to leave this picturesque vineyard and head to the town of Greve.
Honestly, I was glad that we had the visit of the small village ‘Greve in Chianti’ in between the two wine tastings, and I think the company knew what they were doing when they arranged it like that. It was a nice way to give both our bodies and a mind a break, as once we arrived in Greve in Chianti we were given free time to explore on our own.
After walking through the small town, which in fact, didn’t take long at all, my friends and I opted for a gelato and sat in the square. As we sat, we all were scheming about how we could quit school and move here to work on a vineyard. We are still working out the details, but I’ll definitely keep you posted on our master plan, as I’m sure after you do the tour for yourself you’ll be thinking the same thing.
The third and final stop of our day was at Santa Margherita vineyard. Personally, I found the first vineyard to be more idyllic and the Santa Margherita vineyard more industrial. It was really cool to see both types, but in the fantasy world my friends and I were planning, I would prefer to work at the first vineyard instead of this one. At Santa Margherita we took a tour of the wine cellars and learned about the highly technical process of producing wine.
Our guide, who worked for the vineyard, was obviously very knowledgeable, and wanted to make sure we knew it. He did, though, offer some useful advice for those of us who don’t have the privilege of purchasing wine directly from a vineyard, he said this as if it made us peasants.
Again, I was thinking that in my ideal Italian life, buying wine from the grocery store instead of a wine shop or vineyard wouldn’t be a problem. But alas, from now on, I would be grabbing my $6 bottle of wine from the back of the Target shelf instead of the front, because the bottles that are stored in a darker environment keep better! We tasted a couple of different wines, including a traditional sweet wine, and enjoyed some bruschetta and cheese to accompany our Santa Margherita wine. After the tasting we had some time to visit the shop, where my friends and I purchased a bottle of white wine to take back to Florence in order to celebrate our last night in Italy.
As we drove back toward Florence, my friends and I naped, so it was definitely a good thing that we paid attention to the scenery on the way there! All in all, we were very pleased with this tour and definitely thought that the amount of wine we got to taste for the price, was terrific!