One of the most requested question in my tourism's life is: "Where can we buy a good bottle of Wine?"
The answer is not easy at all.
First of all: I'm not an expert or a Sommelier I'm simply a man that drink wine and I like it. So, "personal taste" is the word.
I don't know every producers or every wineries: They are thousends; it's part of the holiday , to stop the car in a place that looks nice while You are driving and try it. Often, in this way, We discover hidden places with amazing products.
From the Tourist's point of view , it's important that the experience is as more complete as possibile. This means: english speaking, and “cutomer oriented” experience
In Supermarket in Montaione) You can find good bottles of wine. Not a shame to buy something there ,
The range of price: between 8-30 Euro per bottle is ok. You are buying a nice (or good, or very good wine) Under 8 it's a risk, over 30 You are buying something "more" (the brand for example).
In Tuscany, we reach the maximum quality with Red Wine. Some white or rosè are unexpected good surprises, but they are more rare.
It could be a good idea give to You some explainations about the legislation in Italy about wine. So You can understand what Doc,Docg and Igt means.
In 1960s born a national regulation called DOC (Denominazione d'Origine Controllata). The aim was to create a framework and to fix some rules: quantity of grapes per acre,How and When to harvest the grapes,Storage Time, Alcohol content. Pay attention: DOC does not mean High Quality for sure. It means that certain rules are followed.
In 1980s born a new classification: DOCG (Denominazione d'Origine Controllata e Garantita): production requirements and control conditions were made more stringent (from governement-licensed specialists)
IGT is the newest classification (Indicazione Geografica Tipica). IGT is more vague, and it embraces an universe of wine: there You can find a pleasent table wine, or a Super Tuscany renowed. No chance here, IGT wine must be drunk to understand.
The Tuscan vine harvest takes place in late September/October, and You can imagine how important it is. Quality of wine is made by Terroir (soil conditions,Geography,grape characteristics...), a lot of sun, harvest process. The moment of the harvest is crucial. Temperature in Tuscany's Autumn is still warm and the grapes must be transported quickly to a cold cellar. the risk is the fermentation in the fields.
The other leading actor of Tuscany table is the Olive Oil. The Olive Oil si called also Liquid Gold. Not only for its color, but also because according to old Tuscan tradition, the olive picker is not remunerated in cash, but with olive oil. Like for the wine, We have a classification that is:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: the free acidity of this oil must be less than 0,8% and produced entirely by mechanical means at low temperature
Virgin Olive Oil: free acidity must be less than 2%
Olive Oil: here it is permitted the use of chemical solvents. The maximum free acidity is 1%.
The pick of olives is made at the beginning of November; tradition says: "by hand". I used to do it when I was a child. I remember this work as the hardest of my life.
Very big producers use machines that "shake" the trees, so the olives fall to the ground and are collected in a net.
We have another "star" of the Tuscan enogastronomic panorama: the Cheese
Tuscany is a green land. While You are driving our winding roads, You will notice for sure how fields are well maintained, and how our hills look like a painting. That's because farmers know very well that our landscape is our lucky. And in this landscape , sheeps live like kings and queens!
Where to buy Tuscan wine and where to have a wine Tasting:
Azienda Agricola Corbucci (15 minutes far from Borgo La Casaccia)
Where to buy Tuscan Oil:
Where to buy Tuscan cheese and where to have a cheese Tasting:
Via Sughera 48
Free Cheese tasting for minimum 2 persons for a minimum purchase of 15 Euro