I am a big wine-o and looking for a day trip (excursion/tour) to some wineries in the Florence area. I am staying in Florence but not renting a car. Also, it would be great to go to some wineries that are not mass producers. My two friends and I would like a true Italian experience. Any suggestions?
We are just back from nine intensive days of winery visit around Florence with a car. Unfortunately, if you want a true Italian experience you need a car because some of the wineries are very small and not accessible via tour bus. Second almost all, especially the better ones, require a reservation and do not take drop in visitors. The local TI in Florence will have organized bus tours for wineries but it will to be the wineries that can handle a tour bus with tourists. I do have a reference that I will add as a PS later.
For wine excursions to the smaller vineyards then the company you want is "Slow days" in Florence. Their site is here - http://www.slow-days.com/ If you are looking for somewhere in Florence to do some wine tasting and learn about the region then drop in on Andrea Amadei who has a little enoteca (wine store) with a great array of wines from across Italy. http://www.andreaamadei.com/ These smaller companies and Florentine locals are well worth looking up if you want to avoid the more 'packaged' tour/excursion experience.
Fiat 500 Tours, Florence. It may not meet your criteria, but if you are intrigued by the tiny Fiat 500s, as my husband is, this is a fun way to see the countryside (without your own car)and enjoy a professional wine-tasting. We don't rent a car when in Europe, but this year we ARE driving one of these old original Fiats (en convoy) and can't wait. The Wine-Tasting tour includes a stop at a Villa that produces its own award-winning red and white wine, and olive oil. Light lunch included. They have a Classic Chianti tour which is a small privately chauffeured tour. 500touringclub.com
This was back in 2006 that I got to spend my 50th birthday on a wine tour with "Tuscan Trails" I just googled them and see they are still going strong and run by the same fellow-Todd. I must say this was one of the best days of our trip to Italy, small group size which was great, we went to 2 wineries, lots of tasting wine and olive oil, was very informative and interesting and had a wonderful lunch in the tuscan hillside,was money very well spent. I'd highly recomend this company!!! We are planning on going back in 2014 and would like do this tour again!