Tuscany is famous all over the world for its wines. From the Sangiovese-based Chianti Classico and the Vino Nobile produced in Montepulciano, to the more daring Supertuscans, here we take you on a journey through the region’s top wines, while exploring the best wine towns in Tuscany.
Best wine towns in Tuscany
Many areas of Tuscany have been devoted to the production of wine for centuries, with long-established tradition and crafts. It’s a world of ancient cellars, modern wineries, perfectly combed vineyards and towns where where the culture is steeped in wine.
RADDA AND THE CHIANTI CLASSICO REGION
Any wine lover should start his exploration of Tuscany from the famed Chianti Classico area. This historic wine region – whose boundaries were drawn by the Gran Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo III de’ Medici, boasts the perfect combination of terroir, altitude and climate that makes its wines appreciated worldwide. With the proud Gallo Nero (Black rooster) as their label, the ruby and velvety Chianti Classico wines are made with a minimum of 80% Sangiovese grapes.
Geographically, the Chianti Classico area amounts to over 70.000 hectares of vineyards, and includes the entire territories of Castellina in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti, Greve in Chianti and Radda in Chianti – and parts of the area around Barberino Tavarnelle, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Poggibonsi, and San Casciano Val di Pesa.
Most of the Chianti towns’s life revolves around wine production, with plenty of enoteche, wine shops, ancient wineries and modern establishments that offer wine tasting opportunities. In Greve you find the Museo del Vino, and every spring Radda in Chianti hosts one of Tuscany’s popular wine festivals “Radda nel bicchiere”.
=> Check out these September Wine Festival in the Chianti.
Join this Chianti Wine Tasting Tour from Florence, explore the scenic Chianti region, see Greve and Castellina in Chianti and visit two enchanting wineries, discovering the secret of wine making and tasting some excellent local wines. Great value for money!
MONTALCINO, LAND OF THE BRUNELLO
The home of the Brunello DOGC, the hilltop town of Montalcino is a real mecca for all wine enthusiasts. The Medieval fortress that watches over the town has been converted into a great enoteca, that hosts wine festivals and tastings. A perfect starting point for exploring the unique world of Brunello wine. Made with 100% Sangiovese grape and aged in oak, Brunello is one of Italy’s most prestigious wines, with a price tag to match. A climb to the top of the fortress is recommended for its views.
Set in a beautiful location, Montalcino is a perfect base for exploring the Val d’Orcia and Crete Senesi. And of course a great way to immerse yourself in a world made of high-quality wines and mouth-watering food.
=> Check out this Wine and Cheese Tasting Guided Tour, including Montalcino, Pienza and Montepulciano. See the best of Val d’Orcia and taste some delicious locally produced pecorino cheese and wine.
MONTEPULCIANO & VINO NOBILE
Another flagship town in Tuscany, the scenic hilltop town of Montepulciano is where Vino Nobile is produced. An ancient and ‘noble’ wine that has a long-standing tradition, and many illustrious appreciators. Thanks to the clay-rich soil and temperate climate, the vineyards around Montepulciano produce a gently tannic and age-worthy wine, with aromas of dark cherry and plum.
In and around beautiful Montepulciano, plenty are the occasions to enjoy a cellar visit, tasting and to learn about the ancient methods used for this prestigious wine.
=> While you’re exploring the area, drive to Pienza for one of the most scenic drives in Tuscany.
BOLGHERI, HOME TO THE SUPERTUSCANS
A relatively new arrival on the wine scene in Tuscany is the small village of Bolgheri, so close to the coast that the vineyards can breathe the salty breeze and enjoy the dry climate. In this territory since the 70’s, wine producers have been experimenting with different types of grapes – such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah – turning their back to the traditional Sangiovese that is the core of all the other Tuscan wines.
The result is an interesting variety of red and white wines, known as Super Tuscans, whose flavours and characteristics vary greatly. Some are highly praised by wine critics, like Sassicaia and Ornellaia, and their fame is matched by the price.
Check out the World Wine Town set in a 16th century farm, opened in 2017, that includes the Bolgheri Wine Museum.
SAN GIMIGNANO, WHERE THE BEST TUSCAN WHITE WINE IS MADE
Vernaccia di San Gimignano is the most prized white wine in Tuscany. And the area around the scenic Medieval hilltop town of San Gimignano is the birthplace of the only DOCG white wine of the region.
Made with Vernaccia grapes that are first mentioned in the 13th century, these wines are noted for their golden-hued colour, floral bouquet and dry, crisp flavour that make it the perfect aperitivo.
AROUND THE MAREMMA
Looking for more wine towns in Tuscany? Head to the Maremma in southern Tuscany, a land that reserves some surprises for wine lovers looking for lesser known, but no less interesting, offerings. These wines may not be in the spotlight, but they certainly deserve attention.
You can visit the vineyards and wineries around charming Pitigliano – and taste the delicious DOC white wine Bianco di Pitigliano – and also Sovana, Capalbio, and Monteregio di Massa Marittima, where a variety of white and red DOC wines are produced.
Or go for the ruby red Morellino di Scansano, the red DOCG that is attracting high praise, produced with Sangiovese grapes grown on the coastal hills around Scansano, Manciano, Magliano and Grosseto.