The 8 Best Vineyards to Visit in Tuscany
As one of the most beautiful regions in Italy, Tuscany is known for its gorgeous scenery and world-class wineries. In its magical landscapes of rolling hills and scenic roads, you will find ancient olive groves, breath-taking sunflower fields, medieval ruins, and, of course, the world’s most beautiful vineyards.
Tuscany is a wine haven and a must-visit for every wine lover out there. It’s home to many different winemakers, and some of the world’s most exquisite wines are produced here.
Wine tasting in Tuscany is an immersive experience that includes learning about the history and culture behind winemaking in Italy, sampling estate-made wines and olive oils while surrounded by the most stunning scenery. In addition, many of these vineyards are owned by the same families for many centuries, giving you a chance to visit historic homes during your tour and learn more about the origin of winemaking in Tuscany.
If you plan on visiting vineyards in Tuscany but don’t know where to start, check out our list of the best vineyards to visit.
1. BARONE RICASOLI, CHIANTI CLASSICO
If you love Chianti and are curious about its history, this is the best place to be. As one of the largest wine estates in the Chianti Classico region, Barone Ricasoli is set in 1,200 hectares of property and home to 64 acres of olive groves and almost 240 hectares of vineyards. At the heart of the estate is an imposing castle that dates back over 900 years.
Barone Ricasoli is one of the oldest wineries in Tuscany and is believed to be the second oldest continuously running wineries in the world. Established in 1872 by Baron Bettino Ricasoli, also known as the “Iron Baron” who wrote the formula for Chianti Classico wine, Barone Ricasoli is the largest winery in Chianti Classico. Today, the winery uses innovative winemaking facilities to produce more than three million wine bottles each year.
Although they offer guided tours, visitors can explore the vineyards without a guide. Be sure to check out the chapel by the castle and the English woods leading to the castle, both of which can be explored for free. Of course, wine tasting is also available at the wine shop, and visitors can taste up to three different wines for a small fee.
2. AVIGNONESI, MONTEPULCIANO
Located close to the border with Umbria, Avignonesi dates back to the 1500s, but it was only in 2009 that it adopted organic, biodynamic farming. Some of its best-known wines are the robust Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and the sweet tasting Vin Santo.
Named after the founders of the wine estate, the Avignonesi family, the winery has gone through an exciting journey since it was established in the 1500s. Today, the Avignonesi has more than 170 hectares of vineyards and has recently applied a state-of-the-art winemaking facility, which helps to enhance the richness and elegance of the Avignonesi wines.
There are various ways to experience the richness of Avignonesi’s vast landscape during your visit. Aside from the classic wine tasting tour, visitors can also go on a hot-air balloon tour and marvel at the scenic views of the vineyards from above!
3. ANTINORI, CHIANTI CLASSICO
Although the Antinori family has been producing wines since 1300, their winery boasts of modernity. Designed by famous Italian architect Marco Casamonti, the architecture is based mainly on the Antinori family’s original concept.
After a seven-year construction, Antinori nel Chianti Classico opened in 2012. Locally-sourced materials were used for the construction, such as glass, wood, and terracotta, meaning that the modern building blends well into the stunning landscape.
Run by Albiera Antinori along with her two sisters Alessia and Allegra, the winery also houses much of the Antinori family’s extensive art collections. Aside from preserving and restoring historical works of art, the family has also commissioned new ones and hosted various exhibitions and seminars that celebrate all forms of art reflecting the Tuscan culture.
Seemingly built into a vast landscape just outside of Florence, the Antinori nel Chianti Classico winery features tasting rooms, wine bars and restaurants, museums, and shops. Tours include wine tasting and a glimpse into the history of the winery and the Antinori family.
4. CASTELLO BANFI, BRUNELLO
Castello Banfi is not just a vineyard – it is a whole town. Located south of Siena, the Castello Banfi is set in a winemaking village with a medieval fortress, Michelin-starred restaurant, glass museum, and wine cellars. Offering a broad menu of winery tours, Castello Banfi is definitely one of the best vineyards in Tuscany.
Run by the Mariani family that imports Italian wines to the United States, Castello Banfi produces an extensive range of wines and is recognized as a pioneer in elevating the standards of Italian winemaking. Two of the most popular Tuscan wines, Rosso di Montalcino and Brunello di Montalcino, are produced here.
Castello Banfi is now a major wine tourism destination in Tuscany that offers tasting opportunities for their extensive range of wines, including a visit to their balsamic vinegar cellar, where fine vinegar is produced according to ancient methods. There’s also a boutique hotel within this wine estate, making it one of the best vineyards to stay at in Tuscany.
5. ROCCA DI FRASSINELLO, MAREMMA
Designed by Italy’s well-renowned architect, Renzo Piano, Rocca di Frassinello is a winery open for visits 365 days a year. As a French-Italian winemaking venture, this vineyard produces equally divided wine varieties – 50% French and 50% Italian.
At Rocca di Frassinello, guests will be treated to an exciting journey through time, from the history of winemaking on this site dating back to three millennia ago to the futuristic architecture of the cellar. From the cellar, a short walk will take visitors to Rocca di Frassinello’s Etruscan archaeological site in San Germano, which is accessible from within the winery.
From their first vintage production of 2004 until today, Rocca di Frassinello has successfully produced several different varieties of wine, including reds, white wine, and grappa, all of which are well appreciated by wine connoisseurs around the world. Featuring almost 90 hectares of vineyards, guests can spend hours exploring the entirety of Rocca di Frassinello winery, although the highlight would be the wine tasting.
6. CASTELLO DI AMA, CHIANTI CLASSICO
Castello di Ama is a gorgeous wine estate located close to Siena in the hills of Gaiole. The modern era of this winery started about 35 years ago when the estate vineyard was replanted.
Established in 1972 by four families who hail from Rome, the vineyard has since grown to 250 hectares. From the 250 hectares of land, almost 90 hectares were planted with vines while 40 hectares with olives. In 2005, Castello di Ama was awarded Winery of the Year by the Wine Guide Gambero Rosso International.
Castello di Ama offers some of the most popular Tuscany vineyards tours, so book your tour ahead and allow plenty of time for wine tastings. They have some of the finest wines in the region, which include the Chianti Classicos and the high-end Merlot L’Apparita.
It’s also possible to sample these wines from their wine bar at the village, L’Enoteca, or at a terrace table at Il Ristoro di Ama. Aside from wine tastings, visitors will have the opportunity to explore impressive gardens and various art installations within the grounds of the wine estate.
7. CASTELLO DI VICCHIOMAGGIO, CHIANTI CLASSICO
Castello di Vicchiomaggio is a 140-hectare wine estate tucked between the cities of Siena and Florence. It falls within the centre of Chianti Classico and produces a wide range of wines, including an exquisite collection of Toscana IGT and Maremma Toscana wines.
Within the estate is a stone tower dating back to the 1100s, while the castle was first recorded in official documentation to have come from the 15th century. Due to its strategic location, which was close to the town of Greve, the castle was used as a defensive fortress during the Middle Ages.
The winery’s name, Castello Vicchiomaggio, was adopted from the Renaissance period in honour of the Maggiolate of Calendimaggio. In its long and complex history, Castello Vicchiomaggio has hosted several historical figures, including the famous Italian painter, Leonardo da Vinci.
Nowadays, Castello Vicchiomaggio consists of 82-acres vineyards with 25 acres of olive groves. It’s one of the Tuscany vineyards that have an abundant variety of Sangiovese, complemented by native varieties like Colorino and Canaiolo, as well as some international varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. These vines are grown at the south-facing slopes of the vineyard to ensure maximum sun exposure resulting in optimal grape ripening.
8. SALCHETO, MONTEPULCIANO
If you’re keen on learning about biodynamics and sustainability, you should visit Salcheto, an exceptional wine estate located southeast of Siena. Enjoying an unobstructed view of Tuscany’s most dramatic hill town, Salcheto produces truly interesting wines, including soft-textured and full-flavoured Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.
What makes Salcheto even more commendable is that it produces wine in the most environmentally responsible manner. Because of its environment-friendly efforts, Salcheto has been awarded the prestigious Gambero Rosso Award for Sustainability in 2014.
Aside from offering wine tasting in Tuscany, Salcheto has a kitchen that serves sumptuous lunches, including the seasonal black truffles gathered from within the estate. Guests can enjoy their lunch at the lovely terrace restaurant overlooking the picturesque views of the vineyards. And the best part is, Salcheto has a team of multilingual guides!
Tuscany represents all the best things about Italy, and its vineyards are no exception. As one of the first Italian regions to have capitalised on wine tourism, it’s easy to see why Tuscany is home to hundreds of vineyards. These vineyards are open to tours and tastings all year round amidst the enchanting views of the Tuscan countryside.
While it’s difficult to narrow down the best vineyards in Tuscany, the list above should help you to decide which of these vineyards you should visit. And although some of these Tuscany vineyards are open for walk-ins, it’s highly recommended that you book in advance, either through email or call, to avoid any disappointment.
If you’re looking to book a wine tour of Tuscany and need help choosing which Tuscan vineyards to visit, get in touch with Italy4Real and speak to one of our expert guides.