Experience the culture of Tuscany through food & wine

Since the wine focused thread is old (2009) and closed I thought I would start a new one.

My wife and I are spending 7 nights in Siena the first week in October and we want to fully immerse ourselves in Tuscan culture through food and wine. We are not interested in many tourist areas or sightseeing side trips. We want to focus on Chianti, Brunello and Montepulciano wines and Tuscan cuisine in all its variations. I've emailed Biondi winery to see if/when they have wine tasting. Antinori is at the top of our list for Chianti. Any other winery suggestions with details about making reservations are greatly appreciated in advance. Any restaurant suggestions would also be helpful. One of my goals this year is to learn to make potato gnocchi. Suggestions for small group cooking classes would be an added treat.

Edit: I just heard back from Biondi and the winery has been closed to the public since January 2018. I wonder if they are on the itinerary for any of the small group or private tours offered by Viator?
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Well-known member
Wine experience in Tuscany


I love Tuscany in October, there are so many great new flavors coming out! and I am not talking just about the wine, you can also enjoy the porcini mushrooms, the chestnuts, sometimes even the new olive oil has made its appearance.

We have actually experienced a couple of wine tours that you may want to consider, I am listing the links to the articles below:


Some personal favorites include:
Podere Pomaio: http://www.pomaio.it/en/wine-tour/
Avignoese: https://avignonesi.it/en/hospitality

You might also want to breeze through this article on Montalcino and wine opportunities:

After you have read thru this information - please feel free to write again with more questions.

Buon Viaggio,

Donna Denise


The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
As far as the cooking class, I would highly recommend you contact Fiamma and Ginny as they come to wherever you are staying and do the cooking class with you. That way you can specifically ask for gnocchi and anything else you want to try. Read my interview with them here: https://www.discovertuscany.com/tuscany-cooking-classes/interview-kitchen-chez-nous.html

As far as Montalcino, you could do this private wine tour that includes BANFI, another of the top names in the area, plus another winery in the area:
http://tours.discovertuscany.com/en...alcino-Poggio-alle-Mura-Castle/d944-47680P115 Pick up wherever you are staying at.

This other one includes Brunello and Montepulciano but departs from Florence: http://tours.discovertuscany.com/en...ano-wine-experience-in-Tuscany/d29096-35049P8
Lourdes and DonnaDenise,

Thanks for your replies to my thread. I've booked wine tastings, lunch and dinner at wineries in Montalcino and Montepuciano, Poggio Antico and Avignonesi, respectively. I've learned that several offer impromptu tastings and lunches/dinners at their taverns, Fattoria dei Barbi specifically. We may check it out.

The video about Fiamma and Ginny was very informative and interesting. The villa at which we are staying near Siena offers cooking classes so I'm not sure if they would invite an outside group/caterer to come in and use their turf for the same purpose. We'll see how that goes.

We also want to visit a bottle shop in Siena and Montalcino on our first full day in Tuscany to get an idea of wine prices before we visit the wineries. We are avid wine lovers and anticipate shipping cases of Brunello, Chianti and Vino Nobile de Montepulciano back home.

I've read the article by Helle about Eating out in Siena along Via Camollia. Are most of these restaurants family-owned and do some offer intimate insights into the local food & wine culture?