One afternoon in our wanderings on foot around Florence, we stumbled upon Tuscan Wine School. My immediate reaction was, "Let's do it!!!" but my less impulsive (and thereby wiser) husband did a little research online. It was a little pricey, but got hundreds of five-star reviews; plus, we weren't touring all of the expensive art museums around the city, so we decided that this was our educational experience for the week. I visited a winery back in 2006 with my grandparents in Spain, but our experience in Florence was even better. This was a full-on excursion (read: 6 hours!) run by a wine school, all transportation into the Tuscan countryside was provided, and our teacher/guide was chock full of knowledge and experience. We were able to see two vineyards and have dinner at one of them, all the while tasting and comparing different wines and blends. I cannot recommend this school highly enough if you are in Florence or Sienna and want to learn more about local wines in the region, how to properly hold a glass and do a tasting, and see how wine is produced. This is one of my favorite experiences this year!
We started off at the Tuscan Wine School (Via de Bardi, 23R) with some history of winemaking in the region, explanation of the grapes used, and proper instructions on how to properly taste and drink wine. (My stemless wine glasses back home are apparently a no-no! I'll have to find a way to stop breaking wine glasses with stems...) Our teacher (see photo below) was so cute and Italian, spoke perfect English, and was wonderfully enthusiastic about her job. Having spent years in Florence, she knew the region well, and was happy to share her knowledge and expertise with us. After some time learning how to taste properly, we were off to the vineyards!