Coastal Tuscany in a Day Tour

zcoastaltuscanyThis small region is the one closest to my heart. From this bountiful and beautiful land come some of Italy’s finest and newest wines. We are in the northern part of Maremma, where the hilltop villages in the area remain small and unchanged. Today the medieval villages such as Campiglia Marittima and Suvereto are revered for their pristine condition. They are places of pride for full time and part time residents alike.

Farming provided a modest income in this fertile land, and then Italy’s great strength, tourism took hold as the beauty of coastal Tuscany was discovered. Yet tourism here is at a small scale. There are no beachfront high-rises. Construction and development is strictly governed. The Gulf of Baratti is a World Heritage Site and along with its sandy beaches, its small local marina, it also has Etruscan tombs that date back to centuries before Christ. This is after all also known as Costa degli Etruschi, or the Etruscan Coast.Visit this site to volunteer to dig at some of the ruins: Past In Progress 

Iron making drove the Etruscan economy, but they were also skillful potters and glass makers. Local museums are filled with their handiwork, which was often focused on the funerary arts. Sarcophagus were built out of stone as were tombs of the wealthy and elite. These industrious people made wine from indigenous grapes and probably learned the technique from the seafaring Greeks with whom they traded. 

Wine is still made here, first by local farmers and large landowners for their own consumption and small scale commercial production, and now by boutique wineries determined to craft fine new wines. The success of nearby Bolgheri in making elegant wines has elevated wine-making here also. This is still the land of Sangiovese, but the rocky soil and sea breeze seem to favor Bordeaux varietals such as Cabernet, Merlot and Cab Franc. In nearby  Bolgheri where they produce world class wines such as Ornellaia and Sassicaia. Yet other small producers are yet to be discovered in the international wine world. With Tuscan Vineyard Tours you can meet the winemakers and taste their incredible wines.

This zone contains DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) and IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) wines. Within those is allowed Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot for reds. For whites innocuous Trebbiano is allowed, although it is falling out of favor and more often crisp Vermentino is used with a bit of Ansonica, Malvasia or the Rhone varietals of Clairette and Viognier which seem unfazed by the summer heat are being experimented with. It is an exciting time for Coastal Tuscany!

3 Day / 2 Night Tour of  Coastal Tuscany 

Your three days in coastal Tuscany with Tuscan Vineyard Tours will be filled with amazing food, wine and sights.

Depending on availability, lodging will be at Villa de Stefano, a sophisticated B&B or an upscale resort. 

Prepare to step back in time as we explore an active archaeological dig of a Roman Era villa. We will learn about the Etruscans who founded Populonia, the only coastal city of this advanced yet enigmatic tribe. Lunch will be in the gracious tasting room of Poggio Rosso winery where their wines will accompany our lunch which will include locally made charcuterie and cheese. Climb Populonia’s fortress for spectacular views of the sea and of Villa de Stefano. For those wishing to stretch their legs a bit, we will take an easy hike though the woods on a path that hugs the coast and leads back to Villa de Stefano where you will be rewarded with a refreshment and waterfront views on the rooftop terrace of the guest house. Before dinner we will explore the historic waterfront area of Piombino and its surrounding walls which are believed to have been designed by Leonardo da Vinci! After an aperitif at one of our favorite watering holes, we’ll dig into a real wood fire pizza, thin, crispy and delicious! 

Day two will begin with a cappuccino and pastry at our favorite award winning Cafe’. We will explore the Medieval village of Suvereto, dine on creative Italian cuisine, and tour stunning Petra winery. A scenic drive into the countryside will bring us to a beloved family run restaurant where everything is made from scratch. You’ll be remembering this place fondly! 

Bolgheri is our destination on our final day. Charming Bolgheri village lends its name to the excellent DOC in the area. Here well known Bordeaux style blends like Ornellaia and Sassicaia reign, but smaller neighboring wineries are also producing outstanding wines. Lunch is at an amazing Enoteca where you can try the very top labels by the flight or the glass! Then we’re off to our favorite Italian gelateria for dessert! A stop in San Vincenzo will allow for a bit of shopping and a view of the local marina. Dinner is a tour de force of delicious choices from land and sea. 

3 Day  Coastal Tuscany Tour:

  • 2 Night Accommodations, subject to availability may include – Villa de Stefano, Upscale Resort or Sophisticated B&B.
  • Personal Guide is a Wine Professional
  • Local Transportation is Included
  • Archaeological Site Visit
  • Medieval Populonia Village
  • Tour w/Lunch at Tenuta Poggio Rosso Winery
  • Optional Hike along Coast in Woods or Beach
  • Cocktails at Villa de Stefano
  • Piombino Waterfront/Leonardo Walls
  • Wood fire Pizza Dinner w/Local Wine
  • Continental Breakfast at Award Winning Cafe’
  • Explore Medieval Suvereto Village
  • Two Course Gourmet Lunch w/Wine Maker
  • Tour & Tasting at Petra Winery
  • 3 Course Dinner w/Local Wine
  • Explore Bolgheri Village
  • Top International Winery Tour & Tasting
  • Boutique Wine & Olive Oil Tasting
  • Light Lunch in Enoteca w/Flight of Wine
  • Gelato
  • Free Time/Shopping
  • 3 Course Rustic Tuscan Dinner w/Local Wine 

 

2-4 Participants / €925 Per Person

5-6 Participants / €850 Per Person

7-8 Participants / €750 Per Person

 

Coastal Tuscan Tour begins at Campiglia Marittima Train Station. Pick up or drop off at other location is available for an additional fee.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYoung winemakers such as Diego Monelli, at Poggio Rosso, are making wines of high caliber that are quickly gaining recognition and a following. No expense is spared in this custom made cellar. Grapes are harvested by hand, then further selection is made on the sorting table before temperature controlled fermentation and finally aging in French oak barrels. No detail is left unnoticed and the resulting wines are true winners. Two reds, Tages and Velthune are produced, a Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon respectively. In this area where reds dominate, he is also producing two fantastic whites, Phylika a crisp Vermentino and a fuller body Viogner, complex enough to stand up to a variety of dishes.(See Blog; Harvest in Tuscany)

 

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 A sub-zone of Val di Cornia is Suvereto. Thanks to the perfect 100 Pt. results of Stefano Frascolla atTua Rita, the family run winery has put Suvereto and on the wine-making map. The boutique winery has a reputation for producing amazing wines on a very small scale. Their most prestigious bottlings are Redigaffi, a pure Merlot inspired by Le Pin in Bordeaux and a Syrah, which is arguably the most intriguing in the area. The estate is in fact their home and has a tasting area that has been designed to incorporate the original cellar. It is a happy mix of antiques and wildly patterned upholstery with a modern lounging area with anchored by a massive fireplace. It is fiercely Rita!

 

 

1318102990_photo-44Soon, along came Petra, an architectural marvel designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta. It may seem familiar to Americans for he is the same designer of San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art. This is wine-making on a large commercial scale and its relatively young vines are progressing beautifully!

The best kept secret of Suvereto is Macchion dei Lupi. Guiding us in the cellar is Carlo Parenti, the young winemaker who left Milan for Tuscany to learn to make wine. Now his bio-dynamic winery is making a Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese blend called Esperienze, or Experiences which is a fantastic experience indeed. 2011 was the first vintage of his Merlot Profeta (Prophet). It is enough to turn anyone into a believer of the potential of Merlot!