Wine has been a part of the Tuscan civilization for over 3,000 years. From the time the ancient Etruscans settled in the gently rolling hills of Tuscany, viticulture and wine production have been an essential element of everyday life and indeed was even considered to be mystical. Like the ancient Greeks, the vine and the olive tree were fundamental to the Etruscan diet and considered sacred plants with lifesaving properties. In this day and age, when doctors are continually uncovering more proof of the health benefits of wine and Olive Oil, the great irony is that the Etruscan’s realized this a few thousand years ago!



Cellar Tours organizes exclusive luxury  Tuscan Wine Tours, featuring top producers, privately chauffeured, dining in the best local restaurants, and staying in charming countryside hotels.

tuscany - tuscany-cypress-and-vineyards
Beautiful Tuscan landscape

History of Wine Making

Wine-making in Tuscany has evolved over the centuries, with new practices introduced by the Romans, Christian monks in the Middle Ages, and well-heeled aristocrats during the Renaissance. Certain Tuscan wines famous today, such as Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, have had a following and have been well-known outside of Italy since the 16th century. William III and Jonathan Swift both had a penchant for their Vino Nobile, and Chianti was well-known in the English court from the 17th century onwards.

Tuscany is a much larger region than many people realize, and it encompasses many different wine regions and climate types. The one thing most regions have in common is the selection of grape varietals. Sangiovese is the dominant red varietal, and Trebbiano is the dominant white varietal. The northwest of Tuscany is mountainous and is famous for the beautiful Apuan Alps, the San Pellegrino water source, and the marble quarries that Michelangelo himself used to visit for his sculptures (which came from the village of Massa Carrara, a village that still quarries marble today!) The climate in the north is continental, with hot summers and freezing winters. Also, in Northern Tuscany, Lucca’s medieval walled town is one of the most beautiful destinations in Italy. Wine is made in the hills around Lucca, going towards a village called Montecarlo, and the wine road is called the Strada del Vino Colline Lucchesi e Montecarlo.

Colline Pisane & Chianti Classico

Further south, you have Florence straight down and Pisa towards the coast. The wine region around Pisa is called the “Colline Pisane.” Florence is one of the famed “Citta d’Arte” (Art cities), referring to its enormous amount of Renaissance architecture, painting, and sculpture. This is where the famous region of Chianti begins. Chianti is quite a large wine-producing area, with many subregions. Chianti Classico DOCG, the most prestigious of all the subregions, runs from Florence southwards towards lovely Siena. Badia a Coltibuono is an excellent Chianti Classico producer. Chianti Rufina DOCG, the 2nd best sub-region, runs slightly northeastwards from Florence and is very picturesque. Classic red Chianti wine is made both with Sangiovese and even some white Trebbiano or Malvasia.

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Chianti Classico

Brunello di Montalcino

Southeast of Florence lies the beautiful villages of Cortona and Arezzo and the gorgeous medieval hamlets of Montalcino and Montepulciano. Montalcino is most famous for its Brunello di Montalcino DOCG wines, made with a clone of the Sangiovese, called both “Brunello” and “Sangiovese Grosso.” The Brunello wines are chic and expensive, with such excellent producers, including Argiano. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG is named after its hamlet and is one of the best wines in Italy, along with Brunello. The main grape to make Vino Nobile is Prunolo Gentile, again a clone of Sangiovese. Avignonese is a mythical Vino Nobile producer (and also famous for its “Vin Santo” wines, made with dried “Passito” grapes).

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Brunello di Montalcino


Heading west and then dipping south, you will run into the coastal Maremma region. The Maremma is where the “Super Tuscan” wines are made. These wines never received DOCG status from the regulatory councils, as they blended prohibited French varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with the local Sangiovese. For years, these expensive wines were ridiculously labeled as “Vino da Tavola,” but they have received DOC status in recent years. The most famous wines from this little-touched wine region include Sassicaia, Ornellaia, Tua Rita, and Petra.

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Maremma Wine Region

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

Montepulciano has long been famed as the birthplace of wines enjoyed in centuries past by noblemen, hence the name ‘vino nobile’.

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Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

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Finally, other wines of note in Tuscany include Vernaccia di San Gimignano, made in the outskirts of the gorgeous town of San Gimignano. To conclude, Tuscany is exceptionally varied in landscapes and wine styles and boasts some of the most well-known and superb wines made in Italy today.

There are many wine hotels in Tuscany for the spirited traveler to choose from while discovering one of Italy’s beautiful region.

Hotel L
Hotel L'andana

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If you would like us to customize an exclusive, luxury tour for you, get in touch with us and let us know your travel plans. We offer luxury food and wine tours for private groups of minimum 2 guests. All of our private, chauffeured tours are available year round upon request.

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Cellar Tours Private Luxury Food & Wine Tours

Cellar Tours

Cellar Tours is a Luxury Travel Specialist, operating since 2003 and offering exclusive Mercedes chauffeured Gourmet Vacations in Chile, France, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, South Africa, and Spain. We specialize in luxurious custom designed vacations, events and incentives related to food and wine. We are proud members of Slow Food, UNAV (Travel Agency Association in Spain), and the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals).

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