Food N' Wine Vacations Blog
If you are a world traveler and just happen to travel to Italy for business or pleasure, make sure to check out the wines of Tuscany. There are several different types of wines that are produced in this region that many wine connoisseurs have come to enjoy.
These are either red or white, however, the red ones are more prominent. Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile. Each one of these have their own unique tastes and have been masterfully aged to perfection.
There are special tours for you to partake in. Each tour will highlight a specific region and when make your choice, you will be given an in-depth tour in which you will interact with the region locals, and taste the wines from many family owned wineries, which makes it a unique experience. Wine connoisseurs will be delighted by this epicurean experience.
Tours to various cheese farms in the region is also something that everyone enjoys. Here you will get a first hand look at how the cheese is made and enjoy sampling them as well.Members of wine clubs will enjoy tasting the different wines, meet the winemakers, and enhance their studies about the wines of Tuscany. This region is known for producing some of the best wines in the world.
Why not enjoy the sights and flavors?of Italy and taste the wines of Tuscany through a small group tour while you are visiting Italy?
Burgundy, France is one of the country’s most prolific wine regions. Known far and wide for both red and white varieties, the wines of Burgundy are arguably, some of the most popular -and expensive-wines in the world. Those new to the global arena of food and wine will soon develop the palate and knowledge of a true epicure upon visiting the storied and historic communes of this region.
Inheritance laws governing Burgundy, which date back to the days of Napolean, state that family property be divided equally between surviving dependants. The result is many generational small family wineries, which welcome tours and thrill at the opportunity to show visitors a special brand of hospitality. One-of-a- kind vintages are poured and served up alongside a loaf of crusty bread, a wedge of lusty cheese, and an intoxicating bowl of braised stew for which the region is famous.
Five distinct growing areas make up the region producing the wines of Burgundy, each bearing the rich and fertile soil necessary to produce outstanding grapes used by regional vintners. Northernmost Chablis boasts many small family vineyards, some producing rare varieties which should not be missed. Combing the trail southward, to Cotes de Nuits, Cotes de Beaune, Cotes Chalonnaise, and Maconnais will introduce the knowledge-thirsty connoisseur to wineries dating back to the 12th century.
Although wine is the main focus in these historic towns and communes, food is also an integral part of the Burgundy lifestyle. Bourgogne, in French, has a recognizable style when it comes to cuisine. Local fare is typically a braised meat with in-season vegetables, frequently just-picked from a backyard garden. The classic dishes Beef Bourguignon and Coq au Vin both trace their roots to this region. As expected, wine is featured in many of the dishes which bear the name of Burgundy.
Cheese varieties of the area are equally as tasty and well worth a side visit to a local dairy farm. Quite often, travelers, both seasoned and novice, find the best way to really get to know any area is by getting to know it’s personality- it’s people. Overflowing with warmth and welcome, Burgundy invites you in, pulls out a chair and pours you a glass of their favorite beverage. Burgundy will regale you with heartfelt stories of a region beautiful and proud. Drink it all in and enjoy.
Rolling hills dotted with centuries-old homes, sit amidst sun-drenched olive groves and grapevines laden with promise. Cafes beckon the traveler and offer a bit of respite, along with an excellent glass of regional wine and dishes of local fare. Tours in Tuscany provide memories which will last a lifetime.
The Tuscan region, renown for it’s fine contributions to the world, is the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. It’s easy to see where the inspiration came from for Tuscany’s art and culture, which impacts the world to this day. Medieval towns and cultural strongholds such as Florence and Siena are rich with art, music and history.
From seaside towns to rich river valleys, Tuscany provides diverse farming opportunities which have, for centuries been recognized as some of the best areas in which to grow olives, varietal grapes, premium grasses on which dairy cows graze, and many of the fruits and vegetables of the region. Gifted home cooks and skilled chefs alike find many ways to entice the tourist in the true Italian tradition.
Local Food Specialties
Traditional Tuscan foods are very simple. Herbs and produce hale from well-planted kitchen gardens. Tours in Tuscany provide visits to family dairy farms which produce some of the world’s finest cheese like pecorino Toscana, a sweet and mild cousin of the pungent pecorino Romano.?Marzolino, a creamy variety, made from sheep’s milk, is used in many local dishes.
Crusty bread would likely be offered accompanied by local olive oil. Beans are a staple and the region’s most popular export, besides Chianti, is surely Pasta Fagioli. Honey is a local favorite and mushrooms, and truffles, abundant. You’ll just as likely be served wild boar as local livestock from small family farms. You’ll experience a cooking lesson from a local chef, and probably be pulled into a kitchen or two in the name of Italian hospitality.
One of a Kind Wineries
Most recognized for superior reds produced in Chianti and Montalcino, wines such as Luce, Brunellos, Campo ai sassi, and Seansanos, along with Chianti are equally impressive. Tours in Tuscany family wineries offer a kinship which grows with each sip.
Don’t bypass the lovely regional white wines seen on tours of Tuscany. Vernaccia di San Gimignano may be the most famous bianco, or white, of the region, however any of the whites will stand up on their own.
A Lifetime of Memories
Joining in tours of Tuscany offers a chance to truly live the Tuscan lifestyle. Get to know the locals and you’ll become one with the region, returning home knowing how to live la dolce vida. Or, perhaps you’ll extend your tours in Tuscany indefinitely.
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Provence is a treat for the senses. Breathtaking beauty lies in the shadow of the Vaucluse Mountains.The air is heavy with scent of lavender, blooming effortlessly throughout the region. You soon realize?the region?doesn’t beckon visitors. It claims them.
Gourmands delight in Provence, tucked in the southeast corner of the French Mediterranean. This region carries the impression of every major culture since time began. Romans, Greeks, Celts and Germanic Tribes have all left their imprint here. French Provencal culture’s unique style and flavor are found nowhere else. Classic dishes are a melange of fresh flavors, from earth, sea and sky.Like the fare, each Provencal?town is unique. From the perched village of Gordes, to historic Avignon, to the relaxed beachside Cassis, and everything in between, Provence sparkles as the multifaceted gem of the Mediterranean.
In Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, a quaint ?village, you’ll find the source of the Sorgue River. The freshwater spring, or fountain, located at the base of a steep cliff, is a must-see experience.
Following the river from it’s source, you’ll find the town of Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. The “Venice of Provence” is a picturesque waterside village. Stroll the famed antique shops or enjoy a repast at a riverside caf?. If you’re in town on a Sunday, visit the acclaimed Antiques Market and pick up a one-of-a-kind memento.
Gordes, a mix of old and new, offers cobblestone streets and remarkable architecture. Home to many artists, as well as stars of stage and screen, the village hosts eclectic music festivals drawing from all over the region.
Neighboring Roussillon red ochre hills, streets and facades are reminiscent of the American desert southwest. These hills are as old as time and the range of crimson hues is breathtaking.
This region of France?boasts wondrous “perched villages” but none as notable as Menerbes. Get to know locals while enjoying this sleepy little village, and you’ll soon discover the je ne sais quoi which inspired British writer Peter Mayle to pen his time “A Year in Provence”.
LaCoste is sun drenched and welcoming. Seeing medieval architecture, walled chateaus, and clandestine streets you can understand why the notorious Marquis de Sade found it the ideal hideaway.
Avignon’s Roman influence is evident. Distinctly Romanesque cafes border the Rhone River. The University and, Papal Palace, home to the head of the Western Catholic Church for 39 years, during a break with Rome, bear a resemblance to the buildings of Vatican City.
Chateauneuf-du-Pape, along the Rhone, is a destination for wine-lovers. Literally translated, this “Pope’s-new-Castle” created a viticulture which produces both reds and whites. Connoisseurs claim these lush and fertile vineyards bear forth grapes resulting in unique and superior vintage, the red being held in highest esteem.
Saint Remy-de-Provence is an authentic artists lair where tortured, immensely gifted legend Vincent Van Gogh, spent time battling inner demons while creating some of his most prolific works. Lush gardens and ancient monuments enhance your visit in a way Nostradamus, another famous resident, couldn’t have predicted.
Cassis is a not-to-be-missed treat. The allure of?this unique region?is embodied in the picturesque fjords of the Mediterranean. The best way to explore them is by taking a boat trip and enjoying the stunning views.
A trip to Provence is sure to relax your mind, body and soul, if just a bit. This region will give new meaning to “ C’est la vie“, because such is life in Provence.
Want to see a sample itinerary to Provence? Check out Best of Provence
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