Italy is a wine lover’s dream year-round, and every region of the country produces wine. Still, there’s nothing quite like a visit to Tuscany‘s famous vineyards during the autumn harvest season, which allows you to combine your love of good wine with Italy’s fondness for celebrations.
Harvest time is festival time in many parts of the world, and Italy is no exception. Harvest season for vineyards in Tuscany is usually mid-September through October, and that coincides with the harvest time for many foods as well. What this means is that not only is it an interesting time to visit vineyards for tastings, it’s also a very good idea to check the calendar for local food festivals. These are often relatively small and local, meant for residents rather than tourists, which is all the more reason to seek them out.
Keep in mind that wine tasting in Tuscany, as well as the rest of Italy, isn’t always as straightforward as you might expect from visiting vineyards in the United States. Vineyards often don’t have tasting rooms or regular open hours, which means doing a DIY tour requires more advanced planning. There are websites that can help you do this, including Italy’s wine tourism site MTV, and the one day when vineyards all over the country open their doors in an organized effort takes place in May – not during the harvest season.
In other words, if you don’t have the time or the patience to plan your own visit to Tuscany’s vineyards during the harvest season, you can book a vineyard tour from Florence, Siena, or the Livorno cruise port. These tours can include wine tasting, cheese tasting and an organized dinner, and you can visit several stops in the Chianti region or narrow in on specific towns like Montelcino, famous for its Brunello. Some of the tours available are:
- Chianti Region Wine Tasting Half-Day Trip from Florence
- Small-Group Tuscany Wine-Tasting Tour from Florence
- Small-Group Brunello di Montalcino Wine-Tasting Trip from Siena
- Livorno Shore Excursion: Chianti and Tuscany Countryside Private Wine Tour