I love wine. Like, really love wine. Like, every time I have a bad day I drink a bottle of wine at night. So when I found myself in Florence, I knew I had to find a wine tour to Tuscany.
If you only have an afternoon, don’t worry! A simple wine tour through the Chianti region of Tuscany is an easy afternoon activity from Florence.
Tour company Viator offers a 6.5 hour, half day tour and wine tasting from Florence for 45 Euro a person. Note that their tour only runs on Mondays Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. They offer a full day, 10 hour tour that runs daily.
For 75 Euro a person, Under the Tuscan Sun tours also offers a half day Chianti wine tour. Due to my travel schedule, this was the best option for my group of four girlfriends.
The tour driver picked us up in a Mercedes van at 3 p.m. outside of our apartment. The tour included lunch in Tuscany’s Chianti region, a wine tasting and vineyard tour. When we got in the car, the driver rattled off options of what we could do after the tour. We didn’t know there was an option so we told him to choose for us.
The drive up to the Fattoria Montecchio in the Chianti region of Tuscany was absolutely beautiful. It took about an hour from Florence.
We made a quick pit stop at the Piazza del Michelangelo which has one of the best views of Florence.
When we arrived at the vineyard, it was breathtaking. The building was beautiful and covered in ivy. The property was over 270 acres which included grapes and olive trees. They only produce red wine and rose and of course, olive oil!
We toured through the wine cellars while our guide explained the process to us.
The vineyard we went to produces Chianti Classico and Chianti Riserva which are both classic Italian reds regulated by the government. The vineyard also makes Super Tuscans which are more experimental wines and are not government regulated
We tried the Classico and the Riserva as well as two Super Tuscans. The Classico tasted like cheap wine. This is more of a house wine in Italy. Our guide said everyone grows up drinking it like water. The Riserva wine was older and darker and more “woody” as it sits in the oak barrels longer. Of these two, I liked the Riserva better.
I hate Merlot in the states. It’s what my dad has pretty much always drank and I just think of it as a really dark, heavy wine. But we tried a Super Tuscan that was a merlot at the vineyard and it was by far my favorite of the four wines! It was a little fruitier than merlot in the states which our guide said was correct. She taught us how to smell and sip the wine in order to figure out the flavors in them but I was horrible at it. Caitlin was pretty good, guessing almost every time what she was smelling or tasting. I tried really hard but I was just horrible at it.
Either way, the merlot was definitely my favorite of the four wines. I wish I had bought some to bring back home to my family to try but we were the last tour of the day so I think they were trying to rush us out of there and didn’t offer the opportunity to purchase a bottle.
We also had some bread dipped in the vineyard’s homemade olive oil which was to die for. I wanted to literally lick the plate clean it was so amazing.
We were supposed to have a light lunch at the vineyard so we didn’t eat beforehand. They only gave us bread with olive oil so after about six glasses of wine, we were all wine drunk.
After our tasting, we climbed back in our van and our driver took us deeper into the Chianti region to a town called Greve. It was just a town square but again, the drive there was beautiful. We checked out a butcher shop that smelled absolutely amazing, grabbed a gelato and hopped back in the van headed for Florence.
I wish we had been able to check out more wineries but our trip was still worth it. With the half day tour, we still had enough time to climb the Duomo in Florence in the morning and go out at night!