From cypress trees and rolling vineyards to ancient abbeys and hilltop towns, Tuscany is a picturesque wine country. It boasts some of the world’s most notable appellations, from the exclusively Sangiovese drops of Chianti Classico and Brunello di Montalcino to the white perfection of Vernaccia di San Gimignano.
Things to do in Val D'Elsa
Beyond the fringes of Florence and Siena, the Chianti Classico is Tuscany’s best-known wine region. Here, you can visit Italy’s oldest estate, the 900-year-old Barone Ricasoli. Set on 230 hectares of vineyards, the Brolio Castle is a magnificent setting for tastings, a sunset tour or gourmet dinner.
Dating back to 1385, Antinori Chianti Classico is the region’s must-see winery. The recently opened showcase winery in Bargino offers a wealth of experiences. Discover the secrets of the cellar in the museum, art gallery and theatre, before heading to the wine bar to “taste-your-way across Tuscany”.
Immerse yourself in Tuscany’s culinary traditions with a cooking class at Podere San Lorenzo, a charming farmhouse near Volterra where you can pick fresh produce from the garden, before making pasta from scratch. Spoil yourself with dinner at one of the many traditional trattorias, like Michelin-starred Osteria di Passignano.
South of Pisa, one of Italy’s premier wine regions awaits. The lush valleys surrounding the hilltop town of Montalcino are famed for producing the beloved Brunello. On the sun-drenched coast, you can also discover Bolgheri, a medieval village famed for its legendary Super Tuscan wines like Sassicaia.
Getting around Val D'Elsa
Hiring a car is the most convenient way to explore Tuscany’s wine regions. Fly into Florence or Pisa Airport, where you can rent a car. Alternatively, use the fast trains running between Tuscany’s largest cities and local buses in smaller villages. You can also visit the wineries on a chauffeured bus or cycling tour.