I have spent the last month in Florence and traveling around Italy. One of my best days here was on Italy and Wine’s Chianti and Supertuscan wine tour. Hillary was our guide and she was outstanding. She promptly picked up my friend and I and a honeymooning couple on our tour at 9:30 AM.
From Piazza Cavalleggeri, we headed across the arno and headed up to Piazzale Michealangelo and Sal Minato al Monte. Hillary wanted to make a special stop at the church because of the honeymooners. Legend has it that lovers are blessed after being inside the church. We took a few moments to take in the views and take a few photos before continuing on to the first winery.
The first winery owned by Rodolpho was charming with elegant views of Tuscany. Here we tried various Chianti Classicos, two Supertuscan wines and a Vin Santo alongside some crostini, cheese and chocolate. Rodolpho gave us a tour around his home and up to the top of the tower. His home is elegantly decorated in his beautiful artwork. He even has frescos on some of his wine bottles that you can purchase! They are truly a unique souvenir.
After the first wine tour, we refueled at a small local restaurant in the countryside that Hillary had chosen for us. The food was phenomenal and Hillary answered all of our questions about wine and gave us her suggestions about shopping for wines and Florence in general. Her knowledge of wine and the industry was remarkable. Hillary catered the tour to our existing wine knowledge and was never dull. Most importantly, she was honest and genuine. She even circled a few of her Florence favorites on maps for us to make the rest of our trips in Florence enjoyable.
The second wine tour was at Le Filigare. The Filigare, right on the city lines of Florence and Siena, has connections back to Mona Lisa’s grandfather and is truly unforgettable. Here we got a personal tour of the wine cellar before tasting. We were able to visualize each step of the wine making process from grape to bottle and even saw women labeling and boxing the newest bottles of their “Pietro” wine. We tasted all of Le Filigare’s wines, Chianti Classicos of various blends. My favorite was the “Lorenzo” and the dessert wine “Vin Santo”. We also got to try a “Grappa di Vinsanto”, “Grappa di Chianti Classico” and “Chiantiac” (Chianti’s Cognac). They were all unique and smooth. Lastly, we tasted Le Filigare’s extra virgin olive oil, which was also excellent. I took home a Chianti Classico and a bottle of Vin Santo. At both wineries and from Hillary there was never pressure to purchase any of the wines. The lack of pressure to buy contributed greatly to the relaxing atmosphere.
After the last winery, we headed back to Florence comfortably after a long and enjoyable day of wine tasting. Although, I went on the tour with a pretty general knowledge of wine and wine tasting I felt like I learned so much more on the Italy and Wine tour. I cannot wait to go again and I would recommend it to anyone looking for that personal, one-of-a-kind experience! Also, be sure to ask for Hillary!
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