Wine Tours and Garden Tours
Travelers with a particular desire for the authentic, the hidden, and the exclusive, may want to experience our Wine tours or Garden Tours. This group of tours will take you from the most celebrated gardens and villas of the region, or to the famous wineries of Montalcino, Montepulciano, and Bolgheri. And don’t forget the magnificent artisan shops where you can discover hard-to-find treasures handmade by local artisans.
Tours are custom-designed, and can be as short as one day or as long as ten. For those on the winery tours, our mission to taste Tuscany’s best wines will lead us on a magical path down picturesque cypress-lined roads, into the gates of imposing medieval castles and monasteries, and through elegantly meditative Italian formal gardens. Plus, it will be a chance to meet the talented winemakers directly responsible for creating these world-class wines. Garden Tours
Gardens and Villas—This tour is the best way to soak up the atmosphere of Florence while avoiding the hustle-bustle of the city. Take a panoramic ride into the surrounding hills of Florence to see the villas where the Renaissance ruling families spent their vacations. Stroll through the magestic perennial formal gardens and ponder ideas of man’s dominance over nature. Each garden is different; you must see them all! Dine in a famous country trattoria on the way. Possible gardens: Castello, Petraia, Demidoff, Corsi Salviati, La Pietra, Stibbert and Gamberaia. Lucca’s gardens: Take your garden adventure one step further and be enchanted by the stunning gardens surrounding the city of Lucca. Each villa has their own approach to the layout of gardens, grottoes, outdoor theatres, par-terre fountains and exotic flora. Spend a day immersed in the world of gardens; it is a great way to get ideas if you are planning a garden of your own!
Winery Visits and Tastings—Dive senses first into the wine glass of Tuscany and enter into the “spirit” of the region by visiting and learning about the wineries that sit regally upon the wine world’s tallest pedestals.* The adventure begins with our red carpet entry leading directly to the wine-makers themselves, who will walk you through the vineyards, show you their barrique-filled cellars, and invite you to taste their pride and joy with them. We’ll dine with the aristocratic owners at one or several of the enchanting estates on our list: The villa table will be set for a delicious 4-course meal, each plate accompanied by a different wine chosen by the estate’s enologist, who will present the wine to us as we feast on local delicacies.
* The wineries we visit are consistently given the highest ratings by publications such as The Wine Spectator.
Chianti Wine Tour—Take this breathtaking tour through the rolling Chianti hills with stops at the area’s most famous wineries and food artisans. We’ll tour and taste at one of the best wineries and save time for a stroll through beautiful Italian formal gardens. Meet a master butcher/philosopher and stop at a local pecorino cheese maker. We’ll visit an 11th century fortified hill town and marvel at the tiny stone houses. Dine in a Tuscan farmhouse where “mamma” is cooking just for us! If you love hand-painted ceramics, we’ll add a stop at one of the best ceramic studios. Or, if fabulous gold jewelry tempts you, we may visit a famous European jewelry designer who painstakingly makes his patented 18k gold treasures by hand.
Brunello di Montalcino—This starkly beautiful region south of Siena is home to Tuscany’s biggest wine. Legendary Brunello (made from Sangiovese grapes) was created by the Biondi-Santi family in the 19th Century and is now produced by all the local makers along with the younger red wine called Rosso di Montalcino and the sweet white wine known as Moscadello (made from Moscato grapes). We’ll visit the top-rated wineries and may also arrange for a special wine-tasting lunch at the vineyard. In Montalcino you’ll visit the imposing medieval fortress and walk around its panoramic ramparts. Optional tour through the picturesque romanesque monastery of Sant’Antimo. Maybe we can catch the monks chanting!
Carmignano Wine Tour—This area west of Florence makes an elegant red wine from Sangiovese and Cabernet grapes (DOCG) along with a fruity rosé and velvety dessert wine, Vin Santo. This area is well suited for combining a wine tour with a visit to a Medici villa, Etruscan tombs or Leonardo’s hometown of Vinci.
Bolgheri Wine Tour—Set out for the Tuscan coast and discover a totally different landscape and wine. Stay overnight in a delightful B & B with pampering hosts and spend the day touring and tasting at the area’s most famous wineries (such as Sassicaia, Ornellaia, Ca’ Marcanda, and Grattamacco). This is a great tour for the real wine connoisseur!