Wine tasting tours, as well as food and wine pairing events, are really popular in Tuscany, especially in the areas around and between Florence and Siena.
It can be a very touristic activity, and despite the amazing beauty of this countryside, you can easily lose the authentic, true Tuscan feeling, which affects the overall experience, including the wine tasting.
Florentine and Senesi people have historic traditions that are closely related to the land, and these can be felt throughout the characteristics of the wines.
However, there are some places where you can still experience genuine wine tasting and food pairing, directly at the producer’s vineyard.
One of our favourites is at Fèlsina in Castelnuovo Berardenga (Siena) at the edge between Chianti Classico, and Chianti Colli Senesi.
The word fèlsina comes from the ancient Etruscan language, which may stem from the meaning ‘fertile land’.
View of Castelnuovo Berardenga.
From Florence, you drive in the direction of Siena and then go beyond, towards Perugia. You must exit the freeway at Castelnuovo Berardenga, you will then find yourself lost in the middle of the mysterious, “rolling” hills.
The soil of these hills, called “crete senesi” (senese clay), is a particular soil that was once covered by the sea 2 to 4 million years ago.
Take a closer look at the clay and you will find plenty of fossils and sea shells, but water is nowhere to be found.
Fossil shells in senese clay.
It’s amazing at any time of the year. We visit during all seasons.
Fèlsina has a beautiful, cosy ambience, where you can visit the vineyard, wine cellars and the surrounding gardens.
Food and wine pairing in the Fèlsina shop.
You can meet Fèlsina’s wine producers.
Chianti classico vineyard of Sangiovese.
Sangiovese grapes on the vine.
Fèlsina vineyard during winter.
The Fèlsina wine cellar.
We recommend food and wine pairing in Fèlsina
During the food and wine pairing, you can taste all their products, and trust me, they’re worth it to try.
Amongst our favourites, is the Rancia riserva, a Chianti Classico made of Sangiovese grapes.
Fèlsina Rancia riserva.
Castello di Farnetella riserva, this is a Chianti Colli Senesi, with an incredible low price for this quality. You can get a bottle for 11 euros, however, it’s worth a lot more.
Castello di Farnetella riserva paired with chestnuts.
The Vinsanto, is simply amazing. It’s aged for at least 6 years in small barrels. It is easy to fall in love with.
If you go there for a tasting, they will pair each wine with some salumi, bruschetta (with Fèlsina’s own olive oil) and some other delicious products.
This area is also very well known for its white truffle, which we paired at home with the Rancia Riserva Chianti Classico.
They also make a “champagne style” (classic method) spumante, which is really interesting to try.
You can check out the Felsina website, but it won’t be as magic as actually going there.
Fèlsina’s direct shop.