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Rolling hills decked in orderly rows of vineyards, great wines, architecture, design, and contemporary art. Tuscany’s excellence in its many expressions is the star of a tour through the lands of vineyards and art, with a contemporary touch. These tours take us through “designer wineries”, a growing phenomenon in Tuscany, with wineries were the world’s best wine is made and for which architecture and design innovate new forms and materials.

Tenuta dell’Ammiraglia (design Grenon-Sartogo) and Cantina Antinori’s barrel room (design Studio Archea)

Selecting some of the most famous of the numerous wineries that have sprouted out around Tuscany, the natural start for our tour is Chianti, the heart of Tuscan winemaking. We’ll start from San Casciano Val di Pesa, where the Marchesi Antinori cut the ribbon in 2012 on their winery designed by Studio Archea. The project is mammoth, yet almost invisible on the hill of Bargino, with a design based on continuity with tradition and respect for the landscape. Let’s go on to the Chianti region near Siena for a visit to the Badia a Coltibuono winery in Gaiole designed by Nathalie Grenon and Piero Sartogo, and two wineries designed by Agnese Mazzei for her family business, the Castello di Fonterutoli in Castellina and for the Barone Ricasoli at Castello di Brolio.

Cantina Icario (design Studio Valle Progettazioni)

Finish up in Chianti with the Icario Winery of the Cecchetti family designed by Studio Valle Progettazioni, and then onto the Tyrrhenian coast to visit the Petra Winery in Suvereto, near Livorno, where Mario Botta designed one of his hallmark brick cylinders cut by a plane. Continuing south into Maremma on Tuscany’s coast, let’s turn our attention to the lithe Grenon-Sartogo architecture on the Estate dell’Ammiraglia of the Marchesi Frescobaldi in Magliano, which stretches over the country landscape like the wing of a gull. Let’s finish off our tour with a wine tasting at the estate of publisher Paolo Panerai at Rocca di Frasinello in Gavorrano, where a soaring red tower rises towards Maremma’s clear skies with a corresponding barrel room underground. It is designed like a square lit in the center of a ray of sun captured by mirrors on the top of the tower.

Rocca di Frassinello’ barrel room (design Renzo Piano) ande Petra (design Mario Botta)