How to get from Florence to Tuscany for a Chianti Wine Tour in Italy

Looking for wine tasting in Florence? There are plenty of half- and full-day options when it comes to Tuscany wine tours from Florence to Chianti wine region. Italian red wine is one of our favorites so we knew we needed to find a tour that offered Chianti wine tasting.

We opted to go with Tuscan Wine Time! by Grape Tours Tuscan Time Tours. *Bonus – Free olive oil tastings at every stop. Hell yes!

Situated just south of Florence, Chianti Classico is the oldest official wine region in the world with over 300 years of geographic boundaries.

Translation – there has wine produced out of this specific spot in the world for the longest period of time – making them very good at wine making!  Now, if you are a Italian red wine drinker, you’ve had (or heard of) Chianti.

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So what is Chianti Classico?

chianti wine bottle florence italy

A brief education on Chianti Wine

The chianti red wine is mostly made with the Sangiovese (pronounced sahn-gee-o-vhay-zhay) grape, a local grape grown in this region of Italy.  

Wine is categorized by the type of grapes used to produce it, and much like the French with their champagne, the Italians have strict rules around classifying their wine.  

Chianti is made up of a minimum of 75% Sangiovese grapes, and the remaining grapes can be red or white. To be considered a Chianti Classico, the wine must use at least 80% Sangiovese grapes and the remaining grapes can only be red varieties.

You can read more here: A Quick and Simple guide to Italian Wine classification 

Italian Wine labels – More than just a bottle

You’ve seen it before, this label around the neck of a wine bottle. It has random letters and a barcode printed on it.

But what the heck does it mean?

In Italy, this label is called the Denominazione di Origine Controllata (controlled designation of origin), which is a government regulated label that let’s the buyer know it’s authentic – aka quality control.

There are 3 labels used to define wine and the quality standard from that region. Check out our post a Quick and Simple Guide to Italian wine labels. In short, the wines on this tour all had the DOCG label, meaning they are the highest quality of wine.

Tuscany “Wine Time!” Tour

The departure location is conveniently located just across the river from downtown Florence.

We met up at the office at 9:15AM. Shortly thereafter, we boarded a small air-conditioned bus and began our 30-minute journey into the Chianti Classico wine region.

The English-speaking tour guide quickly went around the bus for everyone to introduce themselves, and then started to give us a quick rundown of the Chianti region and the specifics about Chianti wine.

Fattoria Montecchio

Fattoria Montecchio-Italy wine florence

Arriving at our first Chianti winery, Fattoria Montecchio, we started with an overview of the estate and farm with a dramatic overlook from the balcony of the wine vineyards below.

Our group then descended into the wine cellar to discover barrels as large as a small car, full of wine! We were taught all about the wine-making process, fermentation, and much more!

We were then escorted to the wine tasting room where we tasted 3 varietals of Chianti wines accompanied by fresh bread, bruschetta and olive oil. Being 10:30AM, we accepted our slight buzz from the wines and were ushered back on the bus to head for stop #2.

Casa Sola

Casa Sola house-Italy wine florence

At the second winery, Casa Sola, we were greeted by our tour guide outside the main house. Covered in a luscious green vine from top to bottom, this house is exactly what you would expect when visiting a Tuscan villa.

On top of rolling hills, the view from their yard stretches for miles, filled with grape vines and olive trees.

Inside the small and cold circular cellar, we were walked through their wine making process, sneaking a peek into the daily life of a winemaker.  It’s not so easy after all!

Once in the tasting room, we were again given 3 chianti wines to taste – all delicious, of course – with more fresh bread and olive oil. Casa Sola has small airplane-sized bottles of olive oil for purchase, so we bought it as a souvenir.

Once again, our tour guide had to wrangle a rowdy crowd back on the bus to get to the 3rd and final stop.

Casa Emma

Casa Emma view-Italy wine florence

Once in the tasting room, we were again given 3 wines to taste – all delicious, of course – with more fresh bread and olive oil. Casa Sola has small airplane-sized bottles of olive oil for purchase, so we bought it as a souvenir.

Once again, our tour guide had to wrangle a rowdy crowd back on the bus to get to the 3rd and final stop.

At our third winery, Casa Emma, you are quickly overcome by the view from their balcony.

In a private dining room with a private balcony, it was hard to not lose yourself in the rolling hills of wine country. Inside, we were served lunch that was specifically paired with their different types of wine.  

A typical Tuscan-style meal was served which included antipasto (different meats, bruschetta and bread), homemade pasta, and to finish it off, Cantucci. Cantucci (aka Tuscan biscotti) are twice-baked almond cookies comprised of another nut and some dried fruit. Addicting!

We tasted 4 wines with our meal, but were able to drink full glasses as well. The 15 of us managed to drink almost a bottle each at this stop.

With full stomachs and a lovely Italian red wine buzz, we boarded the bus to head back to Florence for our 3PM arrival time.

Tuscany Wine Tour overview

Of all the tuscany wine tours, this was a solid choice for a half-day adventure into wine country.

From learning about the Chianti Classico wines and region to the production of Italian wine and olive oil, we highly recommend taking time out of your Florence visit to explore one of the oldest regions of wine country and take a Chianti wine tour.

We met some really fun people and had a great time sharing in our wine education (and tastings) with new friends!  

After this tour, we both have a new-found appreciation for wine and the Italian government’s standards for quality control.

Side note: since returning from this trip, we can’t seem to get off of our Chianti kick…and we aren’t complaining – Italian red wine for life!

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One Comment

  1. I want to go drink wine in Italy with you!!! Or anywhere really. This sounds beyond fabulous. Miss you guys!

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