Ultimate Wine Experience

The Ultimate Wine Experience is not your run-of-the-mill cookie cutter pre-packaged tour – we explore Florence and Tuscany with such unique and adventurous activities, and sample only the very best wine Tuscany has to offer.  Each of our winery tours has been carefully crafted just for VIVA Tuscany Tours, these vineyard and cellar tours are not offered anywhere else – truly unique and special experiences!

Our accommodations are second to none, a beautiful and rustic 4-star hotel located in the heart and soul of Florence, and a week on a true and authentic agriturismo known as Volpaia.  It is a gorgeous villa and estate VIVA Tuscany Tours will have exclusively to ourselves.

Come, join us for an experience unlike any other on the Ultimate Wine Experience!

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Day By Day

Day 0, September 15: Arrival, Florence

A private chauffeured vehicle will greet you once you clear Italy immigration and customs to take you to your hotel.

The rest of the day will be at your leisure.

Meals Included – None

Accommodations – Gallery Art Hotel

Day 1, September 16: Florence

Morning – Your first full day in Italy will begin with a guided walking tour of Florence by a VIVA Local Guide.  Your private guide will take you on a journey through Florence’s incredible history, you will tour the famous Florence Duomo, walk across the Ponte Vecchio bridge, learn how the Medici family came to rise and lost its power, and tour famous monuments while learning the history behind each.

Afternoon – At your leisure.

Evening – Welcome Dinner.  What better way to end your first full day in Italy than with the ultimate Italy dining experience, where you will enjoy fresh homemade pasta, locally sourced cheese, and wine, as well as many other Italian favorites.

Meals Included – Breakfast & Dinner

Day 2, September 17: Tuscany & Volpaia

While in Tuscany you will be staying at a private villa in the hamlet of Volpaia, Italy, a hamlet that holds in history, traditions, art and nature.

Volpaia is a medieval fortified village, located on a hilltop in the heart of Chianti, an area renowned for its natural beauty and an exclusive destination for luxury holidays. The cellar at Volpaia is run by the Mascheroni Stianti family – Carlo, Giovannella, Nicolò and Federica – who treat their often complex work with passion and enthusiasm. Behind the walls of the XI century buildings is all the modern technology required for fermentation, aging and maturing. The property spans 360 hectares, of which 12 hectares are home to olive trees and 46 hectares house vineyards – all sitting at an altitude of between 400 and 650 metres.

The villa you will be staying in is Casavecchia.  This amazing villa is tucked away in one of the quietest and most exclusive parts of the Volpaia farm. It has recently been restored and, while it enjoys all modern comforts, all its traditional virtues have been maintained. All the bedrooms have a marble bathroom en suite and the main bedroom has a wood burning fireplace. The living rooms with its open fireplace is a perfect retreat on chilly evenings and takes you back to when the Matassini family, who occupied the house for 200 years, gathered around the hearth to discuss grape and olive harvests.

Morning – Greve in Chianti, to begin your journey in Tuscany you will explore Greve in Chianti, sometimes called the heart and soul of Chianti.

Afternoon – You will enjoy an exclusive and extensive guided tour of  Castello di Volpaia! Castello di Volpaia is unlike any other winery…the winery is the entire hamlet of Volpaia as the winery has converted old house, restaurants and other building in Volpaia into cellars.

Your private guide will walk around the medieval village and visit the olive mill as well as some wine cellars. The visit will be followed by a wine tasting of 4 different wines and our extra virgin olive oil in the beautiful tasting room or under the wisteria porch in a terrace. The wines you will have the chance to taste will be: Bianco di Volpaia (when available), Chianti Classico DOCG, Chianti Classico Riserva and Coltassala or Balifico. Wines will be served with pecorino cheese, tomato bruschetta and bread with extra virgin olive oil.

Dinner – You will enjoy dinner at your Volpaia villa prepared by your very own private chef.  Your chef will create an incredible meal, where you will enjoy with Castello di Volpaia wine, and the companionship of your fellow travelers.

Meals Included – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 3, September 18: Tuscany – Poderi Boscarelli

Morning – The morning begins with you exploring the southern Tuscany hamlet of Montepulciano, a medieval and renaissance hill town and comune in the Italian province of Siena in southern Tuscany.Montepulciano has one of the most intact and architecturally unified historic centres of any Italian town: within its walls, apart from a few nips and tucks, no major building work has taken place since 1580.

Afternoon – Your day exploring southern Tuscany moves to the Poderi Boscarelli winery, one of Montepulciano’s top estates, owned by the Marchesi de Ferrari Corradi and located in the area of Cervognano, southeast of Montepulciano, producing approximately 100,000 bottles Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG wine per year, small compared to other vineyards. Poderi Boscarelli has been creating unforgettable wine since 1968, and is well recognized around the world as most of the most preeminent Vino Nobile di Montepulciano producers.

The philosophy of the estate is to make stylish wines based on classic elegance, structure, and good aging capacity, yet approachable when young.

On this very special tour of the Poderi Boscarelli winery and vineyard, you will dive deep into what makes this unique and small winery produce such incredible wine, as well as enjoy incredible Tuscany lunch.

After this tour, you will be engulfed in a vertical wine tasting of 8 different wines produced by Poderi Boscarelli, learning the distinction of each, what foods to best pair with, and the different production methods.  Special vintage years will be offered as a special tasting just for VIVA Tuscany Tours.  The experience will be enriched with enriched with local salami, cheeses, bread, and Poderi Boscarelli olive oil.

Day 4, September 19: Barone Ricasoli

Morning – Gailoe in Chianti

Afternoon – A “vendemmia” (Italian for grape harvest) is one of the most fascinating experiences you can enjoy in Tuscany. It is a wonderful way to learn a lot about the local wine & food traditions but also about the local culture.

The winery is located in Terricciola an Peccioli, in the area of the Pisan hills, known as the wine region “Chianti Colline Pisane”. The grape harvest includes the harvest and tour of the actual vineyards, a walking tour of the operating winery, a true Tuscan lunch, and of course a guided wine sampling of wines.  This truly unique experience, which only happens from August-October, you will discover and take part in the process of turning grapes into wine!

Meals Included – Breakfast and Lunch.

Day 5, September 20: Avignonesi Winery

Morning – Visit Pienza.

Afternoon – Visit Avigonesi winery.

Probably the most prominent and successful winery in the Montalcino region is Avignonesi, located in the heart of the Montalcino wine region.  With a visit to this historic estate vineyards you can reflect on the importance of this winery in the history of Brunello di Montalcino wine.

When the Falvo brothers took over the winery in 1974, their innovations and marketing savvy led Avignonesi from being a small producer of the dessert wine Vin Santo into a noteworthy player in Italy’s wine scene, as well as one of the largest landowners in the region, with more than 550 acres to its name. It’s thanks in large part to Avignonesi that the DOCG Vino Nobile di Montepulciano gained fame in the 1980s. The firm’s plantings of international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot showed for the first time that with a forward-looking approach, Montepulciano wines could be on par with those made in neighboring Chianti Classico or Brunello di Montalcino.

Avignonesi‘s tiny production of Vin Santo is a hard-to-find, expensive and highly sought-after wine that’s considered among the best of its class. Aged for eight to ten years, the amber-colored wine is ideal for pairing with not-too-sweet desserts, like biscotti or a nutty-flavored tort. Yet the winery is even better known for its Vino Nobile, a fleshy and modern red wine. The house makes more than a dozen wines total, including two tasty Grappas. For special treats, taste the Super-Tuscan Merlot, “Desiderio”, or the Sangiovese and Merlot “50&50”.

A visit to the Le Capezzine estate reveals the secret to Avignonesi‘s success: the perfect blend of modernity and tradition, natural elements and hard labor. In the 45-acre estate rolling vineyards and olive groves encircle an exquisitely restored 16th century manor house. Nearby, cellars for vinification and aging incorporate the cutting-edge technology used to produce these wonderful Tuscan wines.

In this custom tour created just for VIVA Tuscany Tours, you start with a walking tour of the main areas of this expansive property. We then move to the ageing cellars and the Vinsantaia, concluding with a four-course wine-paired gourmet meal in our elegant and panoramic Foresteria.

Only our top wines will be poured during the lunch: Il Marzocco Chardonnay Toscana IGT; La Tonda Sangiovese Toscana IGT; Grandi Annate Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG; Desiderio Merlot Toscana IGT; Grifi Sangiovese – Cabernet Sauvignon Toscana IGT; 50&50 Toscana IGT; Vin Santo di Montepulciano DOC; and, Occhio di Pernice Vin Santo di Montepulciano DOC.

Meals Include – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 6, September 21: Siena

All Day – Siena, probably one of the most photographed villages in Tuscany, will be on tap for the morning.  you will tour the medieval village of Siena. Your private tour begins in Siena’s famous 13th-century Piazza del Campo, the stunning main square, where the famous Palio horse race is still held twice each summer. Your fun and knowledgeable English-speaking guide will explain the history of Siena and point out all the main attractions that face onto the Campo, including Palazzo Pubblico (the Siena Town Hall) and its majestic bell tower. Then on to the Duomo, main cathedral, one of the most impressive examples of Italian gothic architecture, built between 1180 and 1370. At the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, you guide will lead you through rooms filled with treasures of great Sienese art, and together you can ascend to the top for a breathtaking view of Siena.

Meals Included – Breakfast

Day 7, September 22: Volopaia Cooking Class

Morning – Visit San Gimignano.

Afternoon – Hands On Cooking Class.  When you think of Italy, you either think of its amazing wine or FOOD!  What better way to immerse yourself in the Italian culture than to experience a hands-on cooking lesson extravaganza.  As part of this incredible immersive experience, you will learn the true Italian way of making pasta, fresh from scratch, as well as many other traditional Tuscan dishes.

Meals Included – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 8, September 23: Return Home

All good things must come to an end, and the Ultimate Wine Experience is no different.  But, you can look back at the lifelong memories you have created and friends you have made on this amazing journey through Florence and Tuscany.

Tour Specifics:

Cost: The land cost of the tour is $3,925, per person, based on double occupancy.

You may make your registration deposit using PayPal and/or your credit card and still be eligible for the cash discount cost if your final balance is paid by check or wire transfer. Single rooms are available for a supplementary charge of $995.

Airfare is not included.

Accommodations: 9 nights lodging in elegant, historic 4-star hotel and Tuscan villa;

Please note: Many cities in Italy and France have recently implemented tourism taxes on hotel stays in order to “to ensure the quality of tourist, cultural and environmental services in addition to the efficiency of public transports.” We are unable to include these taxes in the tour price as the majority of hotels require the tax to be paid in cash upon check- out. The tax is usually 1 euro per hotel star per person per night. (A four star hotel will usually be four euro per person per night).

Meals: All breakfasts, additional meals as scheduled. All meals after breakfast include regional wines. We carefully choose the restaurants based on ambiance and quality of cuisine.

Transfers: All ground transportation during the tour.

Wine tastings of various Tuscan varieties (including small local producers and larger well-known wineries).

Admissions: Entrance fee for all planned visits to monuments, galleries, and museums are included.

Small, Intimate Group: We will be limiting the number of participants to a maximum of 12.

Early Arrival/ Late Stay Options: Depending on hotel availability you may be able to arrive early or stay after the end of the tour. We’ll be happy to help you make these arrangements.

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