Here's the thing: a wine tour, like travelling itself, is all about the experience. At the end of the day, my wife and I sat back and thought, wow, that was really cool. We are still savouring the experience (figuratively and literally, as we bought some wine and olive oil).
First, discard your conventional notions of rushed groups of tourists cramming into big wineries that give you a couple of sips then invite you into the store, with a guide that chatters all the time about history, geography and local social trivia (gossip). That is not what you will get. Sit back and put yourself into Franco's hands. Ignore the fact that he doesn't necessarily tell you where you are or what you are looking at, or that he might stop along the way to buy food for his cats. If you want to know something, ask him, and he will give you informative and interesting answers, straight from the heart.
Franco grew up near Siena and is an ex-farmer. This tour was all about wine and food. We did the Montalcino and Montepulciano tour, which included tasting some wonderful Brunellos (Franco is a collector). My wife and I joined three other couples, all from the United States, whom we really enjoyed. With all of us, Franco shared his passion for the wines, food and ambience of the region. He took us to two family wineries, one small, the other minuscule by international standards, both modest but professional operations producing high-quality products with tender loving care. Great experiences, both visits. We left really wanting these people to do well. And lunch was amazing. Franco ordered everything (he let us decide this). For a couple of hours we lingered in a family restaurant in a pretty hilltop village, savouring local specialties and of course some local wines.
Relax and enjoy the day. Don't be in a hurry to get back. Franco is not a clock watcher. Go for the experience, and soak it all in. We will never forget it.
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