“Italians drink wine every day of their lives” and for good reason. When you live in the #1 wine producing country on the planet you cant not! It almost seemed like going anywhere to drink wine would’ve been acceptable while we traipsed through different cities, and we did, but coupling that with the fact that the areas surrounding Florence put out some of the best wines in Italy make a Tuscan wine tour a no brainer. Words I live by; don’t sleep on Tom Brady (ugh), “be the change…”, tell your mom you love her, veggies are better if they taste like meat, never stick important appendages in a light socket and never skip a wine tour in a place like Napa, Bordeaux, or Tuscany.
Now, I’ll never claim to be a wine connoisseur, as I know a lot more about beer and scotch than wine, but I will claim to be an aficionado and over the course of 6 hours I didn’t have one single, solitary, bad wine. From award winning DOCG (as opposed to DOC or IGT) wines, to Super Tuscans breaking all the rules and from a prestigious castle estate to a one-man farm winery, this was one experience I’ll never forget. Again, not an expert, and I’ll let you search out the laundry list of award wining wines and their tasting notes, but here are some takeaways I thought my loyally-boozy readers might enjoy.
The first winery was Castello Sonnino- run by the Baron and Barrroness Sonnino. This place is STUNNING. As we drove up the rolling hills of the estate I thought ‘if the wine business goes belly up they could charge 100k on weddings’. They’re even listed as one of the worlds “Gucci places”. We sipped down 2017, 2018, and Reserva Mostispertoli Chiantis intermittently mixed with some incredible, home pressed, olive oil.
Next up was Poggio Caponi. This place is a little less royal wedding, but still has some pretty majestic views of the Tuscan countryside. If Castel Sonnino was the classy brother of this trio then Poggio Caponi is the Ray Donovan of the bunch; one part older brother and one part wild card. I don’t even know how old any of these places are and for authenticity’s sake I’m not going to look it up, but I could literally feel the antiquity as we walked past equipment that had already past from useful to decorative a long time ago down into a wine cellar sporting bottles as old as 1949! The day was very heavily laden with Chianti, Sangiovese, and heavy red blends, but these guys managed to sneak in a delightful Chardonnay as well.
Last, but certainly not least, I CAN NOT say enough about our last winery: Podere dell’Anselmo. This winery may not be as picturesque or as storied as the others, but this, essentially, one-man farmstead/winery run by Fabrizio absolutely blew us away. The food we had was incredible, the wines we had were amazing, and Fabrizio was a knowledgeable and comically entertaining host. As the afternoon progressed Fabrizio explained his process, toured us around the grounds, ate with us, drank with us, and by the end spontaneously broke out two wines that even our tour guide Ben hadn’t had. It was an unforgettable experience that, the next time I’m within 1000 miles of this place, I will definitely do again.
I can’t and won’t give my traditional rating on any of these locations so, I will rate all three wineries, the Grape Tours experience (go check them out), and the wines I had as a 9.9 out of 10.