Donatella was a wonderful guide into the world of Tuscan wine and food. She is an ambassador for Tuscany! She delivers exactly what you are looking for, not just great wine, but great memories. I can still taste the cheeses, the homemade pastas, and delicious Brunellos. She is unabashedly Tuscan (which we appreciated), but has a charm and wit that is inviting to even the most "American" of tourists. Donatella delivers as close to a down-home Italian country farm and winery experience as can be done in a day trip. You benefit from her obviously genuine relationships with the people of the region and they open their homes and businesses to you as if you are long lost friends, not some strange tour group. It is unrushed, yet filled with multiple experiences. The trip is encompassing of the region, yet finely tuned enough to allow you to focus on specific elements (whether it be the cheeses, the wines, the history, or the beautiful landscape). The best advice that can be given is to clear your day and take a tour with Donatella. She won't disappoint. We visited in May, which seemed to be the PERFECT time to visit. It was beautiful weather - warm but not hot (which it apparently gets VERY hot in this area in the middle of summer). The whole countryside was still GREEN and every vinyard and farm visited was in the middle of all its splendor.
(We actually visited in May 2012, but TA wouldn't let me go back that far.)
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