Discovering Brunello wines with your own Sommelier may just be best decision you make on your trip to Italy!
Staying in exquisite Val d’Orcia region of Tuscany means waking up to fresh air and the lingering scent of bread in the oven. Delicious aromas wafting up and views for miles just beg for a glass of wine… or few!
We have the perfect way to experience some of the best wines in the world and absorb all the flavors and joys of Tuscany.
In the Val d’Orcia, we find the pretty town of Montalcino, world renowned for its Brunello wine.
While anyone can enjoy the flavor, with the right guidance you are able to gain a depth of understanding of the wines and land that produces them.
Anna; driver, guide, sommelier. A day spent with her encompasses everything we love about Italy: beautiful scenery, history, art, incredibly fun personalities, great food, and oh, the wine!
Every client I have sent to her has come home telling me that was their favorite day of the trip, so I was excited to meet her in person and experience it.
I had the highest of expectations, and she exceeded all of them.
Within maybe fifteen minutes of our drive to Montalcino I laughed until my cheeks hurt. Exchanging stories of blunders in each other’s language, we bonded immediately!
Anna had learned the hard way the difference in “warm” and “hot” when describing a person, and among my many corrections through the years was my constant, “wow!” Finally, a guide told me, “You speak Italian in Italy! No “wow”, it’s “Mamma Mia!” And so, our day began.
Through our laughter, Anna paused to tell us where to see the best works by Luca Signorelli nearby.
I expected a wine tour, I did not expect such a comprehensive tour of the area, culture, history, and land the whole world has fallen in love with.
Anna’s knowledge is incredible. She must have studied intensely for many years, but her personality is such fun that she gives you the impression she just woke up one day with all this knowledge and a passion for sharing it.
Her Brunello tour is special.
Through a visit to three wineries, she educates you on how the soil on different sides of the hill affects the flavors. At our first stop, we paused at the vines, and she pointed out the grapes, Sangiovese Grosso.
It’s often thought that “grosso”, which means “fat” in Italian, alludes to the size of the grape, but she told us that actually, it has to do with the skin of the grape, not the size.
She introduced us to the winery guides who each showed us around their vineyards, barrels, and processes. Then, she met us in the tasting rooms.
Of course, since she’s driving, she isn’t drinking the wines with us except for a small sip to point out the tasting notes. This is where having a sommelier as your guide comes in handy.
Anna walks us through each of these wines, along with the staff at each winery and point out differences, food pairings, tasting notes, even the feel of the wine on your tongue.
The amount you learn about wines is incredible, but this tour is more than that.
During lunch she tells us to notice the bread, made without salt. Much of what we have come to adore in our Tuscan cuisine was born out of poverty.
Salt was once very expensive, think of the word “salary”, and the phrase, “worth your salt”.
So, here we are in one of the most revered wineries in the world, enjoying delicious food, paired with Brunello Riserva, 2012, (Mamma Mia!) and learning about Tuscan traditions, centuries old.
Even with all the wine, the day is unforgettable!
After three wineries, Anna took us for a visit to Montalcino. Picking up a Val d’Orcia calendar, she knew where every single picture had been taken should we want to see the views in person.
We learned about Montalcino’s history of being caught between the power struggles of Florence and Siena. And of course, Anna knew every pretty little alleyway that led to expansive Tuscan views.
Driving us home, she told me about why she started doing this. She wanted to be a different kind of guide; to share the culture and flavors of the area in a fun way and really have a chance to connect with her guests.
I certainly believe she has achieved and surpassed her goals. This tour was beyond imagination. If you love wine, and want to gain a full appreciation of Tuscany, this is the tour for you.
Contact us to arrange your tour and accommodations in the gorgeous Val d’Orcia!
PFI Travel, USA