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- Paco - 09-11-2005 02:14 PM

I'm a newcomer to this board and hope someone has some information about Tuscany and Umbria. We have rented a villa in Umbria (near the town of Todi) and will be spending a couple of weeks at the end of this month with a dozen friends.

Can anyone tell me about wine tasting in Italy? We'll be taking day trips to Montalcino, Sienna, Montepulciano and other areas.


- amw5g - 09-11-2005 03:36 PM

Please take good notes! We're planning a trip to Tuscany next April and would definitely appreciate hearing of your experiences.


- wondersofwine - 09-12-2005 04:17 PM

Maybe Roberto or Foodie will give some thoughts. Roberto travels to VinItaly pretty often I believe.


- Paco - 10-15-2005 12:43 PM

Just got back from 10 days in Tuscany/Umbria. We stayed at a B&B in Montalcino for a couple of days and then on to week at a Villa in Umbria with a dozen friends.

Came back with 3 Brunelli, a couple bottles of Rosso, and a couple bottles of Vino Nobile.

Generally, there are Fattorias available for tasting, but most of the wine we tasted and bought were from enotecas and co-ops. You can purchase tastes and the cost is typically credited if you end up buying wine.

The wineries that sell directly to the public usually have a sign noting "Vendetta Diretta" however, that is not always the case. The Brunelli we brought back was purchased directly from Il Poggio di Sotto (1999 - 70 Euros). Based on the tasting (87/88) I normally wouldn't have bought it but wanted to come back with a souvenier and I figure I can put these away for 10-15 years and drink them in my old age. Hopefully they will improve with age.

With a dozen people, we drank a lot during the week we were at the Villa in Umbria. I bought 3 cases of wine the first night from the local co-op in Todi at prices ranging from 2.86 to 3.70 Euros. It was passable, especially with tomato/pasta dishes.

We cooked at the Villa most of the days and since we have several chef-level friends, the food was wonderful. We went out for dinner in Montalcino and Montepulciano at restaurants recommended as the best in town, but the meals were just so-so. Of course, these are small towns. I'm sure the restaurants in Rome, Firenze and Sienna are first class.

We ate out most lunches and these were generally good (mostly pizza or pasta with a glass of local wine).

Overall impression: I probably won't be going back to Italy. The wine was OK, but not great. Same with the food. It doesn't begin to compare with Provence or Burgundy.

Paco