Thursday, March 29, 2007

Wine Train – Chugging along the tracks deep in the Tuscan hills.

Vinitaly opened its doors with grand gala in Verona today. Part of the festivities was the unveiling of a special train, the Montalcino Express, that will take wine lovers into the home of top wine Brunello di Montalcino, leaving Siena and Rome for Montalcino every weekend starting later this summer. Beginning June 16, 2007 the wine train will leave the station in Siena to wind through the Tuscan countryside arriving at the restructured Station in Montalcino. After a day in Montalcino the train then returns to Siena at 7:00 pm. This is an exclusive trip.

An antique locomotive carries up to 150 passengers through the rolling hills into wine country. There are 3 different itineraries available: the green card includes visits to the historical sites of Montalcino, the yellow card offers a trip to the local hot spring spa and the red card permits a visit to one of the local wineries for a tour of the facilities and a tasting. Not that the trip itself is limited just to seeing the beautiful scenery. The tour intends to present less known Tuscan wines for the discerning traveler.

I believe that Tuscany receives too much attention on the worldwide markets. This to the detriment of other great Italian wine producing areas, but I must say this is a great idea. It is an opportunity to see, smell and live Tuscan culture. It is highly recommended that you make reservations well in advance. If this initiative is as successful as the Milan Tram Restaurant then there will be a several month waiting list.

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