The name Super Tuscan conjures up expectations among wine connoisseurs, and is synonymous with high quality wines based on blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and native Tuscan grapes called Sangiovese. They're known as coming from very famous wineries, and that invariably goes hand in hand with high price tags. Prices start around $70,00 and go on to exceed many hundreds. I think that's way too much; most of your money is for the fame of the estate, not the wine. Of course that's my opinion, others may think differently, but here's what I'm proposing for today's tour.
Some years ago I attended a course for sommeliers and my tutors introduced me to the lesser known boutique estates which they held in highest regard. I tried their suggestions for myself, and as could be expected I found the the wines phenomenal. These are the estates I'm proposing for today's excursion.
A day in lesser know wine regions of Tuscany where pride passion and attention to the smallest detail go to make the highest quality connoisseur wines. In honesty their price point of may be still be too high for some, but devotees will find them bargains. Compared to the big names, they're way more affordable while offering the same outstanding quality. It's unlikely you'll find these wines back home, but visitors have the opportunity to ship privately door to door. Bottles range from $35,00 to $55,00 and that includes delivery to your door in the US.
Our visits last one to one and half hours, and we visit two estates during the day. There won't be time for any more, also because there are distances to be covered to reach each estate. However I've chosen the best of the best, you won't be missing out with "only" two I assure you.
09:15am. Pick up is directly from your accommodation in Florence (other destinations available on request) and we drive along the highway to the Valdarno region. The outward trip of about an hour is uneventful, but once off the highway we wander along peaceful off beaten track country roads with lovely views over the Arno valley. We arrive at the first winery around 10:30am
The estate is centered around an old farmhouse dating back to the 18th century. The property has been only lightly renovated to preserve its old world style, and is run by a husband and wife team. The old world atmosphere could make it hard to believe you're visiting an estate where they producing one of the best Super Tuscans around, but they do. They also produce outstanding Chianti and Rosè wines too. They are certified organic so you can be sure you are getting a 100% natural product, and your host will be the winery owner.
We leave the winery around mid day and drive to the tiny but pretty hamlet of Loro Ciuffenna. Here we'll enjoy the panorama over the gorge that runs through town, and take a photo or two. We'll also have lunch in one of my favorite restaurants.
Back in the van after lunch, and we continue our off beaten track drive to the second winery. This estate is also a family business, and again certified organic. It's a little more high tech with respect to the morning's winery, but they share the same manic dedication to quality. Just one example; after the grapes have been de-stemmed, they proceed with a manual sorting of the berries to eliminate anything sub standard. In keeping with what is expected from a Super Tuscan, we taste wines based on Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Merlot blends.
Our Tastings end around 4:00pm and we head back to Florence arriving at approx 5.15pm
Tuscany Tour duration: approx eight hours.