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Tuscany is one of the most popular tourism destinations, hosting over 40 million people every year. The region is renowned for its breathtaking landscape, artistic legacy, legendary architecture, and rich cultural heritage. The most popular spots are in Florence, Pisa and Siena. These regions are also home 7 world heritage sites and is credited with being the birthplace of the Renaissance.

While the rolling hilltops, medieval castles, spectacular seacoasts, and mouthwatering food can charm anyone. Many would agree the real star is the Tuscan wines. Tuscany covered with endless vineyards and is home to the greatest wines in the world.

If a wine tour is in your bucket list then you are in luck. We have put together a comprehensive Tuscany wine tours guide for the wine lovers out there.

Where is Tuscany?

Tuscany is located in central Italy. The region covers approximately 8,878 square miles (2,993 square kilometers). Tuscany is bordered in the North by Tuscan-Eminnine Apennines and the Alps to the Northeast. Umbria is found on the eastern border with Lazio on the southeast. It is flanked in the west by the Ligurian and the Tyrrhenian Seas. The landscape is predominantly hilly but it has fertile plains for vineyards.

 How to Get To Tuscany

Tuscany has international Airports. Amerigo Vespucci International Airport is found in Florence, the regional capital of Tuscany. The other alternative is the Galileo Galilei International Airport in Pisa which is the largest airport in the region. The two airports are only 80 km apart.

However, you will most likely have to connect from the other international Airports in Europe. Once you land in Italy, trains are the preferred way of travelling to Tuscany. A high-speed train ride from Rome to Florence takes about an hour and a half. Traveling from either Venice or Milan takes roughly 2 hours.

 When is the Best Time for a Wine Tour in Tuscany?

The answer to this question depends on your main reason for visiting Tuscany. If you are there strictly for sightseeing then Spring is the best time. Tuscany experiences warm weather between mid-April to mid-June. The next period is in the fall from September to October. However if you want a memorable Tuscany wine tour then September is the best time. as it coincides with the harvest. High seasons in the summer are associated with high accommodation prices and lots of tourists. Try to avoid it if possible.

Main Wine Regions in Tuscany

Climate and soil fertility are major factors that determine where vineyards thrive. There are hundreds of wineries but here are the four main wine regions.

Chianti: The wine zone was demarcated by the Grand Duke Cosimo Medici III in 1716. It is located between the city of Florence and Siena. This wine district produces the highest yields at 20 million gallons a year. The area is known for red wines made from the Sangiovese grape. The best wine comes from the Chianti Classico sub-zone.

Montalcino: The wine from this region is made from the Sangiovese Grosso grapes. The grapes are grown from a Tuscan village south of Siena. Wine from this region has a garnet color. The wines from Montalcino wine district are known to be fruitier than other wines.

Montepulciano: This wine district was created in 1899. The wine from this district is made from a blend of varieties of grapes from the neighboring zones. These include Sangiovese Grosso, Canaiolo, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

San Gimignano: This wine region is found in a medieval town located north of Siena. It is also the home to Tuscany’s only white DOCG wine, the Vernaccia di San Gimignano. This wine is made from the purple rapes without the skin. The vineyards are grown at high altitudes of over 1600 ft. The main grape here is still the Sangiovese but is mixed with other grapes such as Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Pinot. 

Other than white and red wines, Tuscany also produces a sweet dessert wine called Vin Santo

 Where should I Stay during My Tuscany Wine Tour?

The choice of where to stay largely depends on the activities you have planned. Some people like to stay in one place during the entire visit others enjoy visiting multiple locations. If you prefer the latter then driving through Tuscany to Umbria or the Amalfi coast is something to consider. There is also the option of staying in Florence and driving to different locations. It will take you 2 hours in any direction.

 The other alternative is staying in an Agriturismo (B&B) to a more immersive countryside experience.  If you enjoy driving yourself then Siena is the place for you. Other ideal locations are Val d'Orcia, Pienza, and Montalcino. These remote villages are located in the Tuscan valley and surrounded by spectacular views.

Most of the wineries in Tuscany are generational; the families who own them take pride in their work and will be eager to share the knowledge with you. A typical visit includes a tour through the vineyards and the wine cellars and is capped by a wine tasting. It is advisable to eat before the wine tasting. Many wineries offer a tray of cheese and some cuts for an extra cost.

Remember to pack comfortable shoes and a jacket for the tour. Most roads in the countryside are unpaved and the mornings are chilly. You might also want to include some medication for car-sickness.

 Touring options

There are different types of wine tours to choose from. Your choice will depend on how long you are planning to stay. Here are some Tuscany wine tour options you can choose from.

Self- Guided Tour

A self-guided tour is a great choice for the adventurous and the DIYers out there. Be prepared for a lot of research. You have to comb through the reviews to find the best place. You must then make the bookings for the wineries and find out how to get there. It is a great opportunity to put all those Italian lessons to practice.  If you plan to drive yourself back, then watch your wine intake.

Private Chauffeur

Driving through Tuscany roads is not a walk in the park. It is a great option if you want the appeal of a self-guided tour minus all the driving. There are full-day personalized tours to all the major wineries in Tuscany. Your tour escort will navigate through traffic and help you avoid the overcrowded wineries.

Day Trip with a Small Group

If you enjoy a good road trip then a day trip is the right option for you. The ride is usually shared with 5 or 6 other people.  It is a great way to sample Tuscan wine while touring the countryside. These tours leave every day so you don’t have to commit to a rigid schedule. The tour guides are locals who know the roads, speak the language, and can answer many of your questions. You might also benefit from their collaboration with the wineries owners.  The other benefit is that you can sit back and relax. You don’t even have to worry about how much wine to drink.

Whether you choose to stay in Florence or Siena, most of the wine districts are accessible by road. Both Montepulciano and Montalcino are only 2 hours from the capital.

Wine Vacation & Tour Package

Wine vacations are for those looking for an extended stay in Tuscany. This is a multi-day wine tour of various wineries in different regions. This essentially a small group tour except you are booked into an Italian villa. Staying in one place also means less packing and unpacking hence more time to have fun and relax. It will also grant you the opportunity to taste wine from all the major wine districts and draw comparisons. An extended stay also allows you to learn about the culture and learn how to prepare Tuscan dishes. 

How Much Wine Can You Carry Back?

Sadly your Tuscany wine tour will come to an end. Like everyone else you might be tempted to carry back as much wine as possible. Unfortunately there is a limit to the number of wine bottles you can carry in your luggage when re-entering the United States. TSA policy limits the number of alcoholic beverages over 24% alcohol content to 1.3 gallons (5 liters). This means you can realistically only carry four bottles of wine, three if you are being cautious.


In the course of the wine tour and tasting you stumble upon a bottle of wine you like. When this happens, inquire if the winery provides shipping services.  Shipments quantities begin from half a case. The average cost of shipping per bottle is about 10 Euros (roughly $11). Make the shipment while you are still there. There is nothing better than getting your bottles of wine some time after returning from Italy. You can reserve them for special occasions like birthdays and Thanksgiving. It is a great way to relive the experience.

Are you dreaming of visiting Tuscany and enjoy tasting its wine?

Check the 5 nights 'Tuscany wine Tour'.


Tuscany wine tour guide