Tuscany is one of the world’s most travelled to regions due to the richness of its history and because it has been the birthplace of luminaries such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti – Renaissance men that shined a light on Italy and the world with their arts and sciences.
In Tuscany, tourists from all over the world come to admire beautiful works of art and architecture that make this region unique in the world such as Santa Maria del Fiore and Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Piazza del Campo in Siena, Piazza dei Miracoli and the leaning Tower of Pisa, and the ancient towers in San Gimignano, as well as those beauties found in dozens of other towns, castles and churches.
Filippo Brunelleschi, cherished architect of the florentine Renaissance and famous for Santa Maria del Fiore’s extraordinary dome, was also the hand behind projects such as the Basilica di Santo Spirito, which was built on grounds donated by the Frescobaldi family. Still today, the church is connected to the family’s palace by means of a small private chapel.
Tuscany has become famous the world-over for its hills which are exceptionally well-suited to winemaking. From the Apennines to the Tyrrhenian Sea, unique lands such as Montalcino, Chianti, Bolgheri, Pomino and the Maremma are today a destination for wine lovers to explore the winemaking estates and partake in wine and food tasting tours.
Wine tourism attracts those seeking to discover these lands’ beautiful landscapes, traditional cuisine, and the incredible diversity of Italy’s over 100 native grape varieties, which constitute an important and precious heritage. Wine and food tours are increasingly sought-after in no small part because of the incredible charm of Italy’s many designer wineries, which have been built by world-famous architects such as Renzo Piano and Piero Sartogo, who designed the Ammiraglia Estate in Maremma and the CastelGioco Estate in Montalcino. In these temples dedicated to wine, it’s possible to experience tours and wine tastings accompanied by delicious local cuisine and overnight stays in the rooms overlooking the vineyards.
Just 30 minutes from Florence, 3 Frescobaldi estates offer exclusive wine tastings and tours in the fascinating winemaking regions of Colli Fiorentini, Chianti Rufina and Pomino.
On the Florentine Hills (Colli Fiorentini), visitors may tour Castiglioni, the Frescobaldi’s family most ancient estate, which has been producing wines since the 1300s. Today, taking advantage of the excellent terroir, expressive Merlot and Cabernet based wines, with a touch of local Sangiovese, are produced here.
In Chianti Rufina, east of Florence, we climb up towards the Apennines to about 300-400 meters, where the ancient Castello Nipozzano guards its vineyards. Here visitors may tour the estate and cellars, stay overnight in the ancient medieval burgh, and partake in a food tasting experience paired with the estate’s two Nipozzano Chianti Rufina Riserva wines: Nipozzano Riserva and Vecchie Viti produced from grapevines over forty years of age, as well as Montesodi, a Sangiovese Cru produced since 1974, and Mormoreto a Cru made from Sangiovese and Petit Verdot, varieties present for over 150 years and now considered native to Nipozzano.
Continuing to climb up towards the Apennines to about 700 meters, we discover Pomino, Tuscany’s highest estate. This is an elegant domain where Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, first planted in 1855, produce unique wines such as Leonia Metodo Classico Brut and Rosé, Pomino Bianco and Pomino Benefizio Riserva, Pomino Pinot Nero, and an extremely limited production Vinsanto. Pomino and its wineries are open to visitors, who can then partake in tastings and also stay the night in the renaissance villa surrounded by sequoias and other ancient trees.
For those who prefer to spend a day in Florence exploring its Renaissance works of art, the Frescobaldi di Piazza Signoria restaurant, in Via dei Magazzini on the side of Palazzo Vecchio, is open for wine tastings. Staff are also happy to answer questions regarding visits to any of the Frescobaldi Estates. For an even more immersive experience, it’s possible to organize a tour of all the estates to discover the most exclusive and beautiful landscapes in all of Tuscany.