hen you think of Tuscany, you are thinking of Chianti. Endless fields of sunflowers, rolling hills dotted with olive trees, and vineyards with some of the most sought after grapes in the world. An essential stop on any culinary journey through Italy, Chianti, and the wine that is its namesake, are an essential part of not only the gastronomic fabric, but also the economic fabric of this country. Walk the cobblestone streets and through the vineyards of Montefioralle, a tiny hilltop town which claims (true or not) to be
the birthplace of Amerigo Vespucci. Come learn about the wine production that boasts a history as long and fascinating as any famous Italian work of art. A day in the Chianti region wouldn’t be complete without tasting the beverage it is most famous for. Students can sit back and sip some fine Chianti, learn about its main ingredient, the delicious Sangiovese grape (aka “the blood of Jove”), and feast on fresh bruschetta, while hearing about the tradition of food and wine of this historic region of Italy.
Length of Trip: Day Trip
Transportation: Private bus to Chianti
Meals: Special aperitivo and wine tasting at the most stunning vineyard in Tuscany
Activities & Sites
Take a trip through the tiny hilltop village of Montefioralle with local expert Fernando Sieni. Here you will learn about the summer residence of Amerigo Vespsucci, the Florentine banker turned namesake of the New World (America). Sieni will also explain the various powers that controlled this Tuscan region, from the Florentines to the Sienese, as well as the rather unlikely way in which Amerigo found himself on a ship headed across the Atlantic Ocean.
Head to the local vineyards to learn about the intricacies of Tuscan wine with sommelier Gigi Colombo. With his expert guidance you will cover everything from the proper way to hold a glass to the recent invention of new blends like the Super Tuscan. Gigi will also explain the historical significance of designations such as D.O.C.G. as well as the proper pairing of Tuscan wines with local foods. Learn to distinguish certain varietals and observe the wine casks which house the greatest Tuscan wines around.