Ultimately, this was an excellent tour! It started a little slow as we were picked up at 7 in Lucca and then we had to go to Florence to meet the rest of the tour. We didnt leave Florence until after 9:30 and it was an hour and a half drive to our first town. However, once we reached Montepulciano, it started to be fun. The first winery, Crociani was fine. The young woman who handled the tasting was very informative and the wines were good. I really enjoyed tasting the flavored olive oils that they also sell. After the tasting, our excellent guide, Lorenzo, walked us up to the main town square. There was a pretty church and a fountain, but not much was open since this is still off season. Since it was raining, we sat in a little cafe and had a coffee and a pastry which was very good. On the way back to the bus, we were able to get some lovely photos of the valley below.
Our next stop was Pienza where we had a lovely lunch at Trattoria de Fiorella. We made sure to have an appetizer of pecorino cheese since that is the specialty in Fienza. It was everything we could have hoped for! After our relaxing lunch, we strolled a bit and took some lovely photos of the valley below.
The real treat of the day was Montalcino, a lovely town with a near perfect medieval fortress. Even in the rain, we were able to get some amazing photos of the Val dOrcia below. Also, there were plenty of wine shops open and my husband was able to find a wine he had read about. We then took a short ride to the winery, Cantina Museo di Montallcino. Our host was eighty seven year old Mario who shared the history of wine-making and flirted with every woman in our group. He was charming! We also tasted some fabulous Brunello wines and he even opened a bottle of the reserve, which was not on the tasting list.
It took about an hour and a half to get back to Florence and Lorenzo made sure we had a ride back to Lucca. It was a very long day, but we had a great time and I would recommend this trip to anyone who loves good wine and beautiful scenery.