With stunning scenery, mouth-watering wines and delicious cuisine, Italy should be on the bucket list of every wine lover. It’s a place where vineyards overlook breathtaking landscapes, and world-famous vintages jostle for your attention. And autumn is the perfect time to make the trip.

But with around 140 wine roads and over 500 registered grape varieties in Italy, choosing where to go isn’t easy. So, how do you pick the one that best satisfies your taste? To make things easier, we’ve gathered together a few spectacular wine routes that wine enthusiasts should consider. Let’s get started!

3 Wine Road Trips in Italy – Travel and Taste

Chianti di Montespertoli Route – the hills of Tuscany

Who hasn’t heard of Chianti? This prized Italian red wine is produced in central Tuscany, in the Chianti region, located south of Florence. Chianti wine, made according to strict regulations and traditional methods, will please the tastebuds of even the most demanding connoisseurs. 

One popular wine route explores the area around Montespertoli, the famous ‘città del vino” (wine town). It’s here that the Chianti di Montespertoli is produced. Start at Castello Sonnino, right at the entrance of the town, a perfect place for wine tasting and a tour of the cellar. As you drive along the Via Lucardese, you can stop at the Vine & Wine Museum (Museo della Vite e del Vino) that illustrates the value of history and tradition in local wine production. Nearby you can explore the Romanesque Pieve di San Piero in Mercato, one of the most ancient in the area, and the nearby museum of sacred art.

From there you follow the Via Lucardese, passing through the charming hamlet of Fiano among beautiful scenery of vineyards and ancient farmhouses. Barberino Val d’Elsa is another scenic small town in the area that is well worth a visit. Wine lovers will enjoy visiting the historic wine estate Castello di Poppiano, that produces top-quality Chianti dei Colli Fiorentini and Vinsanto sweet wine.

The wine route isn’t only about vineyards of course. On your way, you can also take a closer look at extra virgin olive oil production. And bakeries that produce their daily bread using age-old artisanal techniques. Also, don’t miss the opportunity to taste another of the local specialties, the white truffle. 

=> Top 10 Experiences for Wine Lovers in Tuscany

Countryside near Montespertoli, Tuscany – Image by @lovefromtuscany.com

Sorrento Peninsula Route – Wine Road trip in Southern Italy

Campania is another popular Italian region famous for its wine production, dating back to ancient times. The Sorrento Peninsula area, world-famous for its stunning panoramas and romantic small towns, is among the top 12 Unesco Sites in Italy , and it’s also a top destination for wine lovers.

There are two main branches of the Sorrento Peninsula wine route. The first one comprises the slopes of the Lattari Mountains -from Tramonti to Ravello and Amalfi – with red grapes like Aglianico and Piedirosso, and white grapes like Biancolella and Falanghina. The second branch runs along the coastline, including the Capri island with white grapes Falanghina and Greco Bianco. You also find sparkling red wines from the local grape varieties Sciascinoso and Aglianico.

Choose the Sorrento Peninsula route if you want to taste both white and red wine with an intense aroma and fruity finish. Here, mountains descend directly to the sea creating a unique environment. You’ll have the chance to enjoy amazing wines together with other local products. From traditional pasta dishes, to the iconic pizza, delicious lemons, olive oil, and plenty of fresh fish. And of course, you can’t pass up a glass of the famous Limoncello, the Italian lemon liqueur which was born right here in this area.

=> 5 Charming Italian Villages to Visit

wine route italy
Foto di Benjamin Davies da Pixabay

Sagrantino Route – Exploring Umbria’s wine region

In the heart of Umbria, the verdant region in central Italy, you find the Sagrantino wine route. It includes the historic small towns of Montefalco, Castel Ritaldi, Bevagna and Giano dell’Umbra, that date back to the Middle Ages. In this area visitors can explore cellars that produce prestigious red wines and olive mills where high-quality olive oil is made. Gualdo Cattaneo is yet one more stop on this route, ideal for taking a stroll with beautiful views. 

The Sagrantino vine is autochthonous and has been grown in this region for centuries. Top wines of the area are the Montefalco with its variations, i.e., Sagrantino Docg and passito di Sagrantino (sweet vine). The Grechetto production is also widespread in the region. This fresh and fruity white wine also derives from a grape variety grown in Umbria and is particularly appreciated in the Montefalco area.

This area prides itself on unique local gastronomy – cheeses, truffles, honey, cold cuts – with plenty of wine combinations, while the territory itself is rich in art and culture.

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Organising a Wine Road Trip in Italy

Planning a wine road trip to Italy can be confusing, especially if you are doing it for the first time. With so many vineyards to choose from, it’s important to pick one region and create your own itinerary, including one or a few wine routes (in close proximity to each other). This will allow you to manage your time without needing to rush from one destination to another. 

Bear in mind that most wine estates organise visits and wine tastings only with advanced booking, so plan ahead to avoid disappointment. Some estates operate also as agriturismi, renting out rooms for tourists.

Regarding transportation options, you may rent your own car, join a guided tour, or even hire a private driver. It all depends on your budget. No matter the transportation mode, don’t rush, and remember to enjoy the scenery while sampling the best Italian wines and traditional dishes. 

If you consider tasting wines from other countries, top wine destinations in the world include Chile, France, Spain, New Zealand, Argentina, Australia, USA, and Canada. To visit many of these destinations, you may need to obtain a visa. Check more details on VisaFly.com.

road wine trip italy
Umbria countryside – Foto di Anna da Pixabay