Nestled next to the city of Florence, the old Chianti Rufina wine region was a highly contested area and is therefore saturated with gorgeous medieval castles and keeps. Over time, many of these castles have been converted into world-famous wineries.
Throughout this tour, you will experience the magic of the old Chianti region with its rolling hills and quaint villages. You will have the opportunity to visit medieval cellars, enjoy wonderful Tuscan cuisine, and learn everything you could ever hope to know about the wines and winemaking process.
Our guides will introduce you to the traditional wines of Chianti like Chianti Rufina Riserva while also giving you the chance to try IGT “Super Tuscans.” While we take you to some of the most famous wineries in the region, we also pride ourselves in giving you a flavor of the local culture. Therefore, one of the wineries we visit is on a much smaller scale and is often family owned. This enables you to connect with the proprietor on a much more personal level while he/she shows you the finer aspects of viticulture.
Lunch will take place in the quaint countryside and is the best chance for you to enjoy a 3-course fresh Tuscan meal.
Our wine tour with Hilary was amazing. She is extremely knowledgeable and lots of fun as well. Our tour was even better than we had hoped for. We tasted fabulous wines, toured amazing estates and the restaurant she took us to for our lunch was exactly perfect for what we had requested. The food there was delicious and the outdoor courtyard overlooking the countryside and vineyard couldn't have been better. My companions had the good luck to tour with Hilary 5 years ago and were very happy that we were lucky enough to have her as our guide again. Of all the activities and tours we experienced in our weeks in Italy, this was by far the best. I would highly recommend it, especially if Hilary is your guide. I would do it all over again.
During our stay in Florence, we joined a small-group wine tour with ITALY AND WINE company. We had the pleasure of having Hilary who is a sommelier as our wine tour guide. We did the Castle and Chianti wine tour which was amazing! Not only did Hilary give us a very detailed explanation of tasting notes of the wine but a great in-depth history of Florence and Italy. She explained how to use our senses to further appreciate wine and explained how to experience a glass of wine. This was the best wine tour we have done and enhanced our appreciation for Italian cultural and vino!
The Castle & Chianti tour was an absolute delight! The tour was fun, delicious, and informative. We drank, ate, laughed, and learned a lot! The wine at each winery was wonderful, the vineyards were breathtaking (inside and out), and our tour guide, Pierpaolo, was very informative, He taught us so much about the wine making process, the tasting process, and the history of the vineyards and wineries. The restaurant he brought us to was one of my favorites of the trip. He is, by far, the best tour guide we've had. A noteworthy point- I purchased memorabilia at one of the wineries but ended up misplacing it on the tour. Pierpaolo went out of his way to locate it and ensure it was shipped to me in the U.S. I would highly recommend this tour and I can’t wait to return with more friends and family!
My boyfriend and I booked the shared/group Castle & Chianti wine tour for the last day/night of our Italy trip and it ended up just being a very memorable private tour for the both of us. This tour with the ever-entertaining Hillary was by far the highlight of our trip!! Spending the entire day with Hillary was amazing! She’s a very passionate, informative and hilarious sommelier & guide who’s extremely personable and really knows her stuff! I cannot say enough positive things about Hillary and this tour :) This tour is perfect for pretty much any level of experience/knowledge and love of wine. My boyfriend wasn’t nearly as into wine as me prior to this tour while I’m known to be a bit of a ‘wino’ ;) but did not have many wine tours/tastings under my belt; however, we both walked away far more knowledgeable and appreciative of wine after the Castle & Chianti wine tour with Hillary. Plus, the Italy and Wine tour company did a great job with naturally incorporating sightseeing into the wine tour, so my boyfriend would’ve loved the tour even if he wasn’t as interested in the wine tasting part (which he ended up loving just as much too), and as a wine lover myself, I found the sightseeing like the castle and meeting a living member of ancient Florentine banking royalty, Marchesa Donatella Gondi, at her family’s historic villa and hearing her family’s rich Renaissance history to be more than relevant in enhancing the actual wine tasting experiences because wine is just as much the human story as it is the chemistry/science (which this tour really drove home) :) I thought the tour was organized perfectly in terms of sequence as well- we first started with the scenic drive from Florence to the castle while Hillary prepped us for the tasting we would have there and answered all of our questions plus provided us with interesting tidbits of Florentine history, background of the Chianti region, WWII stories, etc. Then after checking out the castle and learning of its rich history, Hillary took us to a private tasting within the castle and explained and joked about the how’s/tips & tricks of wine tasting and pairings. Hillary then asked us where we’d like to have lunch (which was included in the cost of the tour) and we asked her to take us somewhere in Chianti country where we could get an authentic Tuscan country lunch experience, and wow did she deliver! We had a delicious several course lunch while continuing our education and enjoying Hillary’s great conversation. We then drove through more of the gorgeous Chianti Rufina region on the way to the Gondi family’s wine estate for an amazingly fascinating tour and great storytelling from Marquesa Donatella Gondi herself and a delicious and one of a kind wine tasting experience there over more stories and great conversation :) The wine tastings were also generous servings, so that’s always a plus! We were bummed when the day was coming to an end, but Hillary gave us several suggestions for the authentic gelato experience for our last hour to kill in Florence while waiting for our ride back to our villa in the country, which was also delicious! We could not have had a better time. Thank you Italy and Wine tours and thank you so much Hillary :) Cannot recommend this tour enough! My mother, stepfather and a couple of their friends are renting a villa in Tuscany sometime in the near future and told them if they do anything at all- make it this tour!
My husband and I did the castle and Chianti tour with Hillary for our honeymoon. She was absolutely wonderful to spend the entire day with and we really enjoyed our tour! The sites were amazing and the people we were able to meet and speak with were a definite highlight of our trip! I’m so glad we chose this tour while staying in Florence!
My husband and I did the Castle and Chianti tour with Barbara and it was one of the highlights of our week in Italy. Barbara was a spectacular guide. He was friendly, funny and extremely knowledgeable about wine and all things in Florence. We visited a castle in the morning where we had a private tasting in the owner's dining room. Then we stopped for a delicious lunch in the country. Then we went to a villa in the afternoon for another private tour and tasting. Barbara also made great dinner recommendations that lead us to a restaurant where we had steak Florentine style (definitely need to try this in Florence!). Barbara was so much fun we wish we could have had her as our guide for all of our tours in Italy.
Four of us went on this wine tour which included two wineries, one which was at a castle. Our tour guide Vittorio, couldn't have been a better guide. He was extremely knowledgeable about wine but also about many other subjects that had nothing to do with wine. Both wineries were excellent and the presentation of the wine tasting was fantastic. It really was beyond my expectations. One of the best parts was the lunch. It was definitely one of my favorite meals that I had while in Florence (maybe Italy). Don't miss out on this opportunity.
Booked a group wine tour for one of our days in Florence. Turns out only we had booked, so we had our own private tour! I appreciate that they did not cancel. Our guide was Vittorio. He was so knowledgeable! My husband and I know nothing about wine so we appreciated that he answered our endless questions. He took us to two different wineries. We did wine tastings at both. All the wine was amazing , we even shipped some wine home for our family and friends. I would definitely recommend this tour to my friends and family.
What a great experience. Vittorio was well spoken and extremely knowledgeable. A sommelier first, Vittorio took us to three spots on the tour. first a 1500'd castle in the chianti region. After seeing the castle and the cellars, you sat in a private room with a huge fireplace, big wooden shutters and antique furniture. The table was set and the wines ready for tasting. he served them one at a time while walking you through the art f tasting and the wonderful samples from the vinyard. then off to a hilltop castle recently reclaimed. and a wonderful lunch in the countryside. then on to visit marquesa Donatella Gondi at her villa that has been in the family since the renaissance. and together with vittorio, we tasted wines on their second floor hunting room . she was just marvelous, telling us the history iof their family in Florence. absolutely not to be missed. This isn't your every day tour.
My friend and our teenage daughters (17 and 19) went on the Castles and Chianti wine tour at the end of July, and it was the highlight of our week in Italy! I was a little worried about the teens on an all day tour, as neither are lovers of wine, but the stories of the 2 wineries and Fabian's amazing knowledge of wine (presented in a very unpretentious way) entertained us all. We went to 2 small, gorgeous wineries in the Tuscan countryside and tasted 10 wines and some grappa. There is no pressure to buy the wine (but it was so good, we sent home 12 bottles!). In between, we stopped at a beautiful restaurant for lunch, and more wine (included in the cost). It was a very small group - just the 4 of us and 1 other couple. We learned a lot from Fabian, and he also gave us great restaurant and Tuscan beach recommendations. An amazing day!
Fantastic time. Being from California, I've been on quite a few wine tours but still had no clue what I was doing during tastings... Now, at least I feel like I know what I'm doing! There is a simple three step assessment that we were taught on this tour: 1) viewing the wine and understanding what the color, stems, and drips mean, 2) smelling the aroma of the wine's three different layers, and 3) tasting the wine by assessing the full impact on your entire mouth and what that says about the wine. We hit the Chianti & Castle tour. The lunch spot was a bit fairy-tale like. Could not have asked for a more enjoyable, educational time that we happened to drink a lot of wine! Thank you!