The Wine Routes in Tuscany: from Chianti to Vino Nobile di Montepulciano to discover landscapes and flavours.
Wine tourism develops along panoramic routes rich in environmental, cultural and recreational interest, and are guided by signs, information points, maps, etc.. The routes feature wineries open to the public as well as other gastronomic businesses offering typical local products. They are also an important opportunity for the economic and cultural development of the region in line with the protection of its environmental resources and rural values.
Along Tuscany’s wine roads, in addition to tasting prestigious and world-famous wines, you can visit important historical and artistic sites and enjoy the breathtaking views once celebrated by painters and now by directors and photographers from around the world. There are currently 14 Tuscan wine routes
The most famous is perhaps the Chianti Colli Fiorentini Wine Route.
Chianti and its straw flask with the black rooster on the label has long been an iconic symbol of Tuscany around the world. The production area of this very ancient wine (with roots in Etruscan times) includes the entire territory around the Tuscan capital of Florence. Starting from the south-west, you first come to Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, then pass through characteristic villages such as Montelupo Fiorentino (famous worldwide for its ceramics), Lastra a Signa, Scandicci and Florence. Or, starting from the south-east, Ponte agli Stolli to Figline Valdarno, Reggello, Rignano, Impruneta (famous for its terracotta vases) and finally, Fiesole, home to the cathedral of San Romolo.
This itinerary is flanked by the Chianti Classico route whose wines are produced using a time-honored winemaking method found only in 9 municipalities: Castellina in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti, Greve in Chianti, Radda in Chianti, Barberino Val d'Elsa, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Poggibonsi, S. Casciano in Val di Pesa and Tavarnelle Val di Pesa. La Strada dei Vini Chianti passes through Rùfina e Pomino, one of the oldest grape growing areas north-east of Florence, between Mugello and Casentino.
To the north, towards Emilia Romagna and Liguria, discover the wine route through the hills of Candi and Lunigiana in Tuscany. The wine produced here, called Candia, is a very light white wine ideally paired with fish dishes.
Moving eastwards, follow the wine route out of Lucca, a lovely city known for its Renaissance-era city walls, San Martino cathedral, market square and beautiful villas, through the hills to the picturesque village of Montecarlo.
In the province of Prato you can wind along the historic Medici wine road of Carmignano, whereas, from San Miniato to Pisa, you will traverse the wine road wandering across the Pisan hills. This area produces a lighter and more delicate Chianti, as well as excellent white wines, Bianco Pisano di San Torpé and Colli dell'Etruria Centrale.
Also beckoning to be explored is the wine road of Montespertoli about 30 minutes from Florence in a south-westerly direction, and the wine road of Vernaccia di San Gimignano, whose wine is as old as the beautiful village in which it is produced.
The Terre di Arezzo Wine Routes accompanies us into the heart of Tuscany amidst excellent wines, traditional crafts and locally produced food.
The Etruscan Coast Wine Route takes us to the sea through breathtaking scenery, past unforgettable beaches and beyond to the Island of Elba. This is the trail of what is judged by many to be the finest wine in all of Italy: Sassicaia.
Directly south of the Costa degli Etruschi wine route, the Monteregio di Massa Marittima road begins, while in the hinterland of Mount Amiata you can explore the Montecucco route and Maremma hills wine road which perfectly closes the loop with an excellent regional wine, Morellino di Scansano’s Bianco di Pitigliano.
Finally, we cannot overlook the wine route of the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, a wine of great prestige grown in an area of extraordinary beauty. Don't miss the tour of the ancient cellars that winds through the heart of the village, or skip a visit to the Montalcino area in the province of Siena where Brunello di Montalcino and its younger brother, Rosso di Montalcino, make the perfect accompaniment to Pienza’s pecorino cheese.
Events not to be missed by wine enthusiasts
Vinitaly: an annual showcase of the best Italian and foreign wines.
Cantine Aperte: on the last Sunday of May, winery members of the Movimento Turismo del Vino open their doors to the public and welcome wine lovers to visit their cellars.