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Visiting Wineries In The Chianti Region Of Tuscany, Italy

May 15, 2008
The Chianti region of Tuscany is a vast region of rolling hills set in the countryside of central Italy. Eight zones divide this region, each with a unique terrior. Wine Trail Traveler visited seven wineries in late October of 2007. Two of these wineries were in the Chianti Colii Senesi zone while the other wineries were in the Chianti Classico zone. Visiting wineries in Italy takes some preparation before you begin your travels.

It is best to make an appointment with the winery for a tour and tasting. Most of the wineries have set prices for tours and tastings ranging from a few euros to 25 euros per person at the wineries we visited. One of the differences we noticed in tasting in Italy compared to the United States was in the stemware. Five of the seven wineries used large stemware by Schott, Bormioli, Spiegelau or Riedel. In the United States, we only encountered fine stemware at three wineries out of 130. Another difference you will encounter is the number of labels. The average number of labels we encountered at the Italian wineries was six. Many American wineries offer twenty and occasionally over thirty different wines. Most wine tastings offer three wines to taste in Italy, five or more at wineries in the United States. Often the amount of wine poured for a tasting is greater in Italy than at wineries in the United States. Tasting rooms are generally larger in many of the wineries we visited in the United States.

Locating the wineries in the Chianti region can be a challenge. Their address is often the name of a town rather than a street with a physical address. We added the GPS coordinates for the wineries we visited at the end of the articles. Using the coordinates and a GPS will make finding the wineries an enjoyable experience. Although there are superstrata (expressways) that you can travel, much of your traveling will be on country roads. The traffic on these country roads is minimal. We encountered more traffic on California Route 29 in late February in two days than we did on country roads in the Chianti region in two weeks. This afforded us the opportunity to view the beautiful countryside and negotiate the winding roads. The country roads are wider than the country roads in the United Kingdom, so you do not need to cringe each time you do encounter another automobile or bicycle.

Some Tuscan wineries offer lodging facilities. We stayed at a winery and vineyard, seven kilometers from the medieval town of San Gimignano. Mormoraia has several apartments. We rented a two-bedroom apartment on the first floor of what use to be a convent. The design of the apartment was in the Tuscan style, highlighted by brick and stone floors, walls and ceilings with gentle arches. The apartment provided plenty of room to spread out. The kitchen was one of the smallest rooms. There was enough space for two people to cook if good at dancing around each other. A large table, chairs and buffet encompassed the dining room area. The dining room opened onto a living room area that had two sofas for lounging, reading and watching television. There were spectacular views from the apartment. We were blessed one morning when a fog had settled over the landscape. Only the towers of San Gimignano pierced the fog. Daily walks through the vineyard offered a quiet respite and a time for reflection.

When visiting the Tuscany area of central Italy, take time to visit some of its wineries. There are hundreds to choose from, and many are small production and not open to the public. Read the Wine Trail Traveler reviews of these wineries to begin your search.
About the Author
Terry Sullivan is a wine enthusiast who designed the website
Wine Trail Traveler
. Wine Trail Traveler is a winery and vineyard virtual visitor center. Both novice and wine enthusiasts will enjoy using the website.
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