In a country known for its prestigious wines, and award-winning vineyards, wine tours in Italy are an absolute treat to the senses. Driving through stunning green landscapes to some of the best Italian wineries for a tasting, and exploring the vineyards is undoubtedly a great way to spend your time.
If you’re looking for the best trails to go for tastings in Italy, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re up for an escorted tour, or you’d like to venture out on your own, Italy’s wine regions are the place to be. Here are a few routes that’ll keep you coming back to the country’s finest wine regions.
The Barolo Route
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Barolo is a red wine made in the Piedmont region of northern Italy. It’s made from the Nebbiolo grape and is often thought of as some of the best wine that the country produces.
For this reason, it’s imperative that you do a Barolo wine trail while you’re in Italy. Here are a few of the places you should be visiting along the way.
In 1964, Elvio Cogno produced one of the very first Cru Barolos at the Brunate vineyard. He then went on to open his very own vineyard which is the one we recommend you visit. He has now got his daughter and son-in-law in on the family business and they each produce their own signature wines on the farm.
If you’re feeling up for extremely unique and aromatic wines, then Elvio Cogno is a must-visit wine farm on your Barolo trail. What makes this visit even more unique is that it’s home to one of the only native white grapes in the region. So you can mix it up and try a variety during your tasting.
Vietti boasts ownership of the highest number of high-quality vineyards in the region. They use these to create single-vineyard wines.
Their flagship wine is the Barolo Castiglione, a blend of 11 of Vietti’s very best vineyards and introduces the connoisseur to the light subtleties of their wines. Visiting this vineyard is a must during your travels as you’ll taste vintage wines and learn about the history of the farm. As well as learning about their latest winemaking techniques.
These hillside vineyards are absolutely stunning and make for the perfect backdrop to your wine-tasting afternoon. Take in the beautiful views while sipping on what just might be the country’s best wine.
The Prosecco Route
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Prosecco is a white wine, produced in a bubbly style and is Italy’s answer to France’s Champagne. Recently, after a very lengthy 10 year process, finally UNESCO declared the Prosecco Hills of Conegliano and Waldobbiadene a World Heritage Site. This coveted award safeguards the cultural heritage of the small and valuable agricultural area in Northern Italy
Unlike many other wines from Italy, Prosecco is not named after the region in which it’s from. In fact, Prosecco is made in the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions of Northeastern Italy.
To taste some of the country’s top Prosecco, visit one of the following farms.
La Tordera is a family-run farm that focuses on sustainable and green viticulture. The farm has been producing famed Prosecco bubbly since 1918. The vineyards are large, but the farm still likes to do things the traditional way, and prides itself in producing hand-picked grapes.
During a wine tasting and tour at La Tordera, you’ll learn about the sustainable viticulture practices and what it takes for them to create a “natural balance”. Which just so happens to be their motto.
The farm produces 11 types of bubbles, and you’ll get the chance to taste each one during a tour.
Adami is located in the rural Alta Marca area, where wine has been produced since the middle ages. Like many of the other farms in the region, Adami is a family-run farm and it was started over 90 years ago.
The farm produces a great variety of Prosecco wines in the most traditional way. Every year, the grapes are harvested by hand, and then Adami combines its traditional winemaking techniques with a few modern twists.
The winery holds tasting sessions in which you can learn about the seven varieties of Prosecco they produce. They’re stunning wines that should be enjoyed along with sweeping farm views.
The Chianti Wine Route
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The Chianti Wine Region is located between Siena and Florence in the province of Tuscany. It’s a fairly rural area that consists of many hills, valleys, and mountains. The area is known for the wonderful wine that it produces, which is aptly named after the region.
The villages in the area are punctuated with medieval European churches and castles that make exploring this region of Italy all the more interesting. The wine made in the region is made with the local Sangiovese grape that gives the wine its distinct flavour.
Cantina Antinori nel Chianti Classico
The Cantina Antinori nel Chianti Classico wine farm has been in the family since 1385. Although the farm is old, it has evolved immensely since its humble beginnings. Over the past seven years, the owner of the farm, Marchese Piero Antinori, and his three daughters have been hard at work building a stunning winery and visitors centre.
The vineyards grow the iconic regional Chianti grapes which you’ll get the chance to taste if you take part in their wine tasting. The visitors’ centre is home to a museum, art gallery, winery, the cellars, a shop, and a rooftop restaurant that serves only the finest gourmet cuisine.
You can take up to four different types of Italian wine tours at the farm. These range from basic tastings to tours of the cellar to dining with wine connoisseurs.
Tenuta Castiglioni – Frescobaldi
Around 700 years ago the Frescobaldi family were already a wealthy family in Italy, and to add to their heritage they entered the wine industry. Bringing with them a whole host of influence and money.
Although the family owns many wine farms throughout the region, visiting the farm where it all began offers something a little special. You’ll get the chance to take part in wine tastings, olive oil tastings, and even learn about the soil in which it was grown.
If you’re planning on wine tasting in Italy, this iconic farm is a must-visit on your wine route.
Castello Banfi il Borgo
Castello Banfi il Borgo offers new levels of luxury and a fantastic wine tasting as well as a dwelling experience. For three centuries, the servants that worked for Tuscan nobility lived in a little hamlet on the farm. These stone cottages have been completely renovated and now offer fantastic accommodation to guests.
Apart from wonderful wine tastings and winery tours, there is a whole variety of other things to enjoy while you visit the farm. An outdoor heated pool, massage tents, and cooking classes are all on offer.
If you decide to stay the night, your room will be stocked with some of the farm’s finest wines to enjoy at your leisure.
Final Thoughts on Wine Trails and Tours in Italy
For foodies and connoisseurs, or just your average wine enthusiast, food and wine tours in Italy are an incredible experience. If you’re ready for a day of sipping the finest wines and taking in beautiful scenery simultaneously, then these wine trails are a must.
The best wine tours in Italy consist of not just one wine farm, but many. This way, you get to assess and compare flavours and tasting notes like a real pro. Now that you know where you’re headed you can start planning our tailor-made Italian holiday to suit your refined palette.
For a mixture of fantastic dining and wine tasting experiences with guided walks (think of those calories) we recommend Hedonistic Hiking, who have a passion for top quality wine and gourmet food in many areas of Italy. Alternatively, if you want to actually meet the artisans and Italian farmers who will welcome you into their homes, then look no further for this culturally rich experience with Sapori e Saperi.