The province of Siena has the distinction of producing the highest concentration of exceptional wines in all Italy.
These include four of the most celebrated wines in the world: Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Vernaccia. There are endless opportunities for wine tasting in Siena but one of the most enjoyable can be found in the spectacular enoteca (wine shop) located in the bastions of the 16th century Medici fortress.
It sells a wide selection of Italian regional wines and those classified as DOC G (meaning they have met special criteria and have a particularly high quality). Visitors can sample wines and peruse the wine list, a book of well over a hundred pages.
Wine tastings in Tuscany often include a spread of meats or bread and cheese and can easily become meals in themselves. There is always an expert on hand who will guide your experience, explain how the wine is produced and offer advice on selecting a wine.
Wines can be bought and carried away or sent directly to your home. Near Siena, many wineries are small, family-run businesses, often housed in ancient estates nestled among cypress trees, rolling hills, and vines in tidy rows.
The wine-tasting often includes a tour of the cellars and grounds and sometimes of the house itself. Spending an afternoon at a tasting can be a real learning experience as well as a fascinating peek into another way of life.