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Following on to our popular guest post on Wine and Olive Oil Tours from Pamela Sheldon Johns, we have even more ideas for Wine Touring throughout Italy.

If you are one who likes to plan everything to the smallest detail, you can do your homework in the US and then map out the wineries before leaving for Italy.  You will find that most wineries now have websites that list information about visits and tastings. The major wineries are very well organized.

For the important wineries, it is wise to reserve in advance to be sure that they will be open on the day you want, and someone will be available to translate in your language. Most DOC and DOCG wines have an informational organization that will list the wineries. Google the name of the wine you are interested in and the word consortium (or consorzio in Italian), and you should be able to find some contact info.

If you prefer someone to do the thinking for you, there are several excellent wine tour companies who will make all the arrangements for you.

Generally, olive oil tours are less common, so don’t expect the same structure as with wine.  Olio2Go can assist with contacting producers that are willing to give a tour, but it is best to check first.  Castello del Trebbio does both wine and olive oil tastings, and is located east of Florence.

Beginning at an enoteca is a good way to sample the region’s varieties and then formulate a plan a visit to the ones you really care about.  Most of the wine producing regions have a primary enoteca in the main town of the area.  Many of these carry both wine and oil to sample.

Some of our favorite wine tastings, tours, and enotecas (enoteche):

Tuscany

Avignonesi (must book in advance)

Badia a Coltibuono

Castello del Trebbio, Santa Brigida

Antinori (beautiful building). For a bit of history on Antinori opening to the public after 600 years, here’s an interesting article from Forbes.

Umbria

Marfuga (olive oil and other products), north of Spoleto

Gusto Umbrian Wine Tours, centered around Montefalco

Barberani (property and tasting room outside of town, enoteca in Orvieto)

Veneto

 Serego Alighieri, outside of Verona

 Enoteca “el loco” in Bardolino, on Lake Garda

Piemonte

Enoteca del Barolo, in Barolo

Enoteca Regionale del Barbaresco, Barbaresco

Travel Langhe (organized tours of the entire region)

Sardinia

Ask the staff at Su Barchile in Orosei for suggestions for a really special tour of this rugged area

Sicily

Planeta (Menfi and several other properties), wonderful people

Donna Fugata, Marsala, very impressive story and winery

DiGiovanna, near Marsala, home to Gerbino Olive Oil

Please let us know the highlights of your wine and olive oil visits!

 

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Tuscan Selections including Profumo del Chianti

Tuscan Selections including Profumo del Chianti

A Month in Medieval Volpaia Tuscany is a charming brief memoir.  Robert  and Patricia Crosby capture their full weeks in September and October. These are the slower days of late summer and early fall, after the tourists have left. Robert and Patricia provide a series of diary entries of their day to day visits to trattorias, town squares, and churches.  Each day is a peaceful adventure, full of love for their friends and experiences. 

Take a walk with the authors through their day to day experiences, along with visits to our favorite places, the olive oil estates of Volpaia and Badia a Coltibuono.  Another favorite stop is a visit to Panzano, the home of Dario Cecchini, the Dante-quoting master butcher of Chianti. (We’ve written about him before).

A Month in Medieval Volpaia is a quick read, and a perfect gift with a selection of Badia a Coltibuono, Albereto, Campo Corto, or Volpaia.

We found this book to be well produced, and charming, but occasionally repetitive.  It is perfectly written for those of us who dream of having such a month to spend in the Chianti Classico.

Pamela Marasco demonstrates her love for all of her acquired Italian heritage in her self- published family treasury, Seeing and Savoring Italy. This will be read by her family and others for generations.

She married into an Italian American family and grew close to her husband’s grandmother. Through the years this granddaughter-in-law sought to capture and recreate memories and heritage through food customs.  From olive oil, to cheese, to wine, to chocolate, Pamela is to be commended for trying to get it all into one book.

Recipes are interwoven through the chapters as she visits Tenuta di Capezzana, Avignonesi, and other places dear to us at Olio2go. Bistecca alla Fiorentina, Olives all’ascolano, and risotto, fill the pages between Sagra (festivals), wine, mostarde, and tartufi (truffles).

Well-researched and endearingly written, future editions will be improved with one more pass through an editor and graphic designer.

If you can find a copy of The Tuscan Year, now out of print, you’ll enjoy a very pleasant and well written year in Tuscany.  It fits nicely with A Month in Medieval Volpaia and Seeing and Savoring Italy.

You can see The Tuscan Year and Seeing and Savoring Italy on Our Favorite Books That We Don’t Carry on Amazon.