We booked our wine tasting trip the day before on a whim. We were really surprised to find an email saying okay, the driver will meet us at the hotel the next morning at 8am. Massimo was our driver and his english was very good and he was a very cautious driver, which is almost unheard of in Rome. The mercedes was very comfortable and because it was Saturday, there wasn't much traffic. We started at Orvieto. The cathedral there is amazing. Definitely worth the admission. The wine tasting was at a little cafe across the plaza. What a gem this was. The owner did our tasting and he is the 3rd generation to own the cafe. He did an excellent job explaining the food and wine pairings. The best porchetto we had our whole trip! He let us into his cellar and told us the story of how his grandfather started the business. What a wonderful experience!
Next we were off to Montepulciano. We had a little mix up at restaurant and were getting very annoyed. When we met up with Massimo, he spoke to the owner, who in turn gave us a private tasting of reserve wine and the history of the farm. Then she took us into their cellar, which is also a museum of relics they find when they plow there fields. There are dinosaur bones, medieval tools and weaponry, all kinds of neat things. She was very knowledgeable and made up for the confusion in the restaurant. The bad part was that we had to pay 70 euros for a meal we didn't want or like. We were expecting to pay 30 euros for a wine tasting and food pairing.
Overall, the day was very nice. We got to see the Tuscan country side, which reminded me a lot of San Diego. We couldn't have asked for a better guide than Massimo. His knowledge of the area was amazing. Be aware that this trip costs 500 euros and that does not include any of the tastings or museum fees. We spent about 650 euros in all.
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