Monday, March 9, 2015

Tuscanmagic: A Tuscan Wine Tour

One of our main reasons for visiting Arezzo was for a true "Tuscan" experience, which to me, is a wine tour!! We knew this was the main reason for visiting so we began searching tours around the region. Since we didn't have a car we needed a tour with transportation and an affordable price. I came across a company called "Tuscanmagic" that offered all the things we wanted in a wine tour. The tour included: pick up from accommodations, a visit to two different wineries, a stop in Pienza for lunch and pecorino cheese tasting, and we were treated to a trip to an abbey to hear monks singing.

Our day started with a pick-up around 9am, in the rain... We were so disappointed that our whole trip had been rain free until the day of our tour, and it wasn't just rain it was foggy too so you could barley see the surroundings. It was disappointing but we could prevail and drink great wine!! 

We set off towards the town of Montepulciano for our first wine tasting of the day. We stopped at the cellar of Ercolani in Montepulciano. Montepulciano has actually been seen in movies such as Twilight: New Moon and the English Patient. The cellar was actually located in an old prison where they used to use torture tactics on the prisoners. You'll see a picture of some of the devices below, one of them a chastity belt... it does NOT look fun!!

The chastity belt in the bottom left had corner.. eeek!!

After visiting Montepulciano, we drove over to Pienza for lunch and some cheese tasting of pecorino cheese which is one of the major products of Pienza.

We tried our first taste of Lemoncello at the restaurant, La Buca di Enea. We had amazing meats and cheeses, pasta and we got a bottle of wine. All of lunch was included in the price of our wine tour, which still makes our full day wine tour an excellent value!!

Normally the tour allows for more time wandering around Pienza but since it was so rainy we headed to the Sant'Antimo Abbey outside of Montalcino. The abbey was built in the 1200's and is home to an organization of Monks who regularly worship everyday in the Abbey by singing hymns. The public is invited to listen to the hymns but photos are prohibited of the Monks. The Monks actually live on the property and even make their own beer and wine!

We were able to stay and listen to the monks and it was truly a very special experience. It's amazing the history Europe holds compared to the US and what you really can experience through the culture and history of the different regions. 

After our visit to the abbey we headed to our second stop of the wine tour, but the best stop as well! We visited a winery, le Potazzine, in Montalcino. The winery was actually on the vineyard itself so we were able to witness the grapes growing on the vine and see the production area as well. The winery is a small boutique winery that doesn't export to the US unless custom ordered. We loved our visit so much and we ended up ordering 12 bottles of wine and we don't want the wine to end! Although we can reorder, it's not an easy price to ship wine from Italy. Maybe we'll just have to fly back and bring it back in our suitcases instead! We would highly recommend this winery to anyone!

Definitely some of the most fantastic wine!!! By the time it was over we were surprised how sleepy we were on the drive home!! As soon as we did start driving home, the clouds started to part and we were able to start really seeing Tuscany for all its beauty. It really was beautiful to see and I'm glad we were able to be given a little peak even if it was for just an hour or so. We really enjoyed our wine tour. Our guide Stefano was highly knowledgeable and passionate about the wineries but all the region of Tuscany. The nice thing about our tour was also that it was just myself, hubs and Stefano so it was very private and intimate. I really appreciated that considering I really wanted our trip to be special and the tour provided those intimate moments of the Tuscan dream. I highly recommend anyone thinking of visiting Tuscany to look up Tuscanmagic. It's a great value and a perfect outing for a day even if you don't have your own car!


1 comment:

  1. The landscape photos are amazing! I can't believe that was all just a private tour for you and Nick without the group!! So amazing!!! Totally on my bucket list.