Following on to our popular guest post on Wine and Olive Oil Tours from Pamela Sheldon Johns, we have even more ideas for Wine Touring throughout Italy.
If you are one who likes to plan everything to the smallest detail, you can do your homework in the US and then map out the wineries before leaving for Italy. You will find that most wineries now have websites that list information about visits and tastings. The major wineries are very well organized.
For the important wineries, it is wise to reserve in advance to be sure that they will be open on the day you want, and someone will be available to translate in your language. Most DOC and DOCG wines have an informational organization that will list the wineries. Google the name of the wine you are interested in and the word consortium (or consorzio in Italian), and you should be able to find some contact info.
If you prefer someone to do the thinking for you, there are several excellent wine tour companies who will make all the arrangements for you.
Generally, olive oil tours are less common, so don’t expect the same structure as with wine. Olio2Go can assist with contacting producers that are willing to give a tour, but it is best to check first. Castello del Trebbio does both wine and olive oil tastings, and is located east of Florence.
Beginning at an enoteca is a good way to sample the region’s varieties and then formulate a plan a visit to the ones you really care about. Most of the wine producing regions have a primary enoteca in the main town of the area. Many of these carry both wine and oil to sample.
Some of our favorite wine tastings, tours, and enotecas (enoteche):
Avignonesi (must book in advance)
Marfuga (olive oil and other products), north of Spoleto
Gusto Umbrian Wine Tours, centered around Montefalco
Barberani (property and tasting room outside of town, enoteca in Orvieto)
Serego Alighieri, outside of Verona
Enoteca del Barolo, in Barolo
Enoteca Regionale del Barbaresco, Barbaresco
Travel Langhe (organized tours of the entire region)
Ask the staff at Su Barchile in Orosei for suggestions for a really special tour of this rugged area
Planeta (Menfi and several other properties), wonderful people
Donna Fugata, Marsala, very impressive story and winery
DiGiovanna, near Marsala, home to Gerbino Olive Oil
Please let us know the highlights of your wine and olive oil visits!