Wine Tours in Italy

by Jessica on February 26, 2008

by | February 26th, 2008  

wine tourYou don’t have to be a wine snob to think about going on a wine tour in Italy. This is a country known the world over for the magical transformation from grape to vino, and the bottom line of any wine tasting is just whether or not you like what you’re sipping. If you want to learn how to talk about wine like a true connoisseur, that’s fine – but certainly not required.

A simple web search of the words “wine tours in Italy” will turn up countless results, so you certainly shouldn’t lack for choices of tour companies which offer wine-focused itineraries. If you’re hoping to learn about the wine you’re tasting as you enjoy the stunning views around you, an organized tour of a region’s wineries is a good option. This way you don’t have to plan out your route or even worry about driving after sampling one too many Chiantis – and many of the tours you’ll find will come with a guide who’ll help you understand the different wines you’re tasting. An organized wine tour is also a good choice if you don’t already have a rental car, and don’t want the hassle of navigating your way through Italy’s back roads. Plus, if the tour you’re looking at is an overnight trip you’re also likely to be spending the night in excellent accommodations and eating fabulous meals, too. These trips can be a food lover’s dream come true.

If you’d prefer to organize your own Italy wine tour, that’s also possible – although it clearly takes a bit more logistical work on your part. Italian wineries are unlike the wineries you may be used to in the United States in that they don’t all have tasting rooms with regular open hours. This means you will probably need to call ahead and let wineries know you’re coming and when. Luckily, there’s a website that lists the wineries that even accept visitors, so you don’t have to waste your time with the ones that aren’t even equipped to handle guests. There’s some information about how to use the website for Movimento Turismo del Vino under “Do-It-Yourself Wine Tours” near the bottom of the page, which you’ll need if you aren’t fluent in Italian.

After tasting all the fine wines of Italy, it’s likely that you’ll find at least one that you want to buy and bring home. Well, with the restrictions on carrying liquids on planes these days, it can be quite a headache to get this precious cargo home in one piece. Most wineries that accept visitors are also equipped to ship wine home for you, so that you wouldn’t even have to carry it out of the tasting room. This can be an expensive proposition, but if the alternative is your Valpolicella bottles breaking in your checked bags and everything you own turning the color of wine, it’s probably a very good choice.

Read more about vineyards in Italy and plan your Italy wine tour today!

{ 4 comments }

Jeff February 26, 2008 at 5:23 am
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A word of caution on having alcohol shipped home: they will gladly ship wine overseas, but don’t expect to be able to ship home any distilled spirts like grappa or limoncello. I’m not sure if it applied just to shipping it out of the EU, out of Italy, or shipping liquor via parcel anywhere, but in Tuscany I was told that they couldn’t ship grappa because it is a distilled spirit (I assume this is because of the fire risk).

The good news is that most liquor bottles are stronger than wine bottles, so if you pack them well in your checked luggage, they should be able to survive the flight home, as mine did.

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Parisgirl February 26, 2008 at 6:38 am
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Signing up for an organized wine tour is REALLY good advice. We learned the hard way (or should I say some of our Paris visitors) learned the hard way that you don’t go to Bordeaux without pre-booking a wine tour – especially during the grape harvesting season. Do some of the big towns in Italy have day tours organized by their Visitor Centers? I found Bordeaux’s Visitor Center wine tour to be good – and easy to join (as long as you sign up at least a week in advance).

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sagrantino October 29, 2008 at 9:37 am
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If you love Italy, wine, culture and food come to Umbria!We go on excursions to small family owned wineries where we walk through vineyards, learn about winemaking and taste interesting native wines.
Please look at our website
http://www.sagrantinoexcursions.com
Salute,

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Love Umbria Tours of Italy November 19, 2008 at 1:11 pm
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Great article! Definitely best to book a driver or guide for your wine tour as some of the most interesting wineries are the most difficult to find (even with GPS) and Italy is starting to crack down more and more on drink driving… so you can relax, enjoy your wine and know you are in expert hands!

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