Exploring Italy’s most beautiful vineyards

Megan Wilkins


Italy is one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world and makes somewhere between 5-50 million hl of wine per year. From rolling hills to bright and blossoming Tuscan fields, the country offers the finest varietals grown in an unrivalled terroir. Added to the fact that these vineyards make sumptuous wine, they are some of the most breathtakingly beautiful venues for a weekend getaway or a lavish break. From long romantic meanders through the sun-soaked vines and orchards, to afternoons spent tasting and sipping on the best of their barrels, an Italian 'winecation' is the ideal opportunity to learn about and experience la dolce vita.

Vignamaggio, Tuscany

This stunning Tuscan vineyard has been a working farm for over 600 years, producing grapes, olives, and cypress trees. Located in the Chianti Classico region, the sprawling 250 hectares estate is home to a marvellous Renaissance villa that overlooks ancient hamlets, wide rolling hills, and lush green forests. The villa was built by the Gherardini family in the XIV century, the most famous of family members being Mona Lisa Gherardini, who was painted by Leonardo da Vinci.

The farm offers rooms, suites, and apartments in the Villa, as well as three old farmhouses for larger parties. Take a stroll through the Renaissance and organic vegetable gardens, while you wait for dinner at the Mona Lisa Restaurant, or sample some of their best varietals over a fresh and salty Focaccia, made to order with their home-made olive oil. After staying at this special place, you are sure to learn the true secret behind Mona Lisa’s smile. 

Tenuta San Guido, Tuscany

Located on the picturesque Tyrrhenian coast, this vineyard is the proud producer of Sassicaia wine, which is grown on vines that are planted up to 350 meters high on the estate’s hills. These wines have been awarded the DOC (Denomination of Controlled Origin) of Bolgheri Sassicaia, which is the first and only case in Italy of a DOC contained in one estate. The estate is also known for its thoroughbred horses and the Bolgheri Bird Sanctuary, which is Italy's first private nature conservancy.

Tenuta San Guido is the perfect location for wine and animal lovers alike. Take a stroll down to the training grounds to watch the prancing horses at work, or book your own horseback experience for a ride through the vineyard, ending with a picture-perfect sunlit picnic. Spend a romantic afternoon birdwatching in the sanctuary, while you smell the sea in the distance, complete with a glass of the estate’s famous red in hand.  

Castiglion del Bosco, Tuscany

This estate is not just a vineyard. It also boasts a gorgeous members-only golf course, built to blend into and showcase the natural beauty of the soft curves and contours of the surrounding hills and valleys. The 19th hole of the course offers guests the opportunity to compete for a magnum bottle of Brunello, the vineyard’s flagship wine. This estate offers the most exclusive wine tasting experience, held in a private tasting room with access to their award-winning wines and member-only events. Membership gives you the opportunity to stay in their five-star Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, which is a true reflection of the refinement and beauty of the region.

Spend your days on the breathtaking course, improving your par and taking in all that the Tuscan sun has to offer. The slow and simpering sunsets can be enjoyed on the balcony of the Rosewood, while you sample the authentic Tuscan lifestyle with good food, good wine, and the remnants of the summer breeze still blowing through your hair. 

Marchesi di Barolo, Piedmont

Over 200 years old, the cellars overlook the Castle of the Marquis Falletti. Supported by soft hills, the wines produced by this estate are famous for their modern approach to ancient tradition. Guests are encouraged to experience tastings as though they are part of the family, with a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Take your time as you explore the old building, steeped in centuries of history and passion for wine, while you learn more about the wine-making process. With exclusive cellar tours, guests are invited to see how these heady wines are made - from vine to barrel, and how the ageing and bottling process changes the distinct characteristics of body and flavour.

Spend an afternoon sampling wine from the cellar itself, taking in the rich and earthy aroma of the barrels as you sip away. Once you have chosen your favourite wines, why not pop by the in-house shop to stock up for your wine rack at home. Finally, spend a joyous evening in the Foresteria Marchesi di Barolo, the elegant restaurant showcases the culture and delights of Piedmontese cuisine. 

Cantina Scacciadiavoli, Umbria

As one of the oldest properties in Montefalco, the proud tradition of winemaking is passed down through the generations of caretakers, with over 135 years of winemakers, and well into their fourth generation. With a passion not only for wine but for the region itself, the Pambuffetti family puts as much care into preserving the history of the estate as they do into the wine itself.

Guests are invited to taste their delectable wines in their traditional tasting room, where they are able to sample all of their award-winning varietals. For advanced bookings, they offer the chance to learn how best to pair these wines with local produce, showcasing the complexities of flavour and texture when it comes to food and wine. An afternoon of splendour awaits you, as you drink in the rich history and architecture of the region. Immerse yourself in the local food culture, as you expertly pair your new wines with food bought at the bustling market nearby.  

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