WINE & TRAVEL: Relais Ruffino, Tuscany
Updated: Nov 5, 2019
My Stay at Relais Ruffino on the Poggio Casciano estate, Tuscany
Tuscany: a feast for the eyes and a feast for the soul. The picture perfect postcards and Instagram #posts only tell half the story: miles upon miles of vineyards, luscious rolling green hills, regal Italian Cypress trees, ancient olive groves and quaint historical towns. But Tuscany is also a feeling, a way of life and a sense of place. It lives in our hearts and in our minds and is brought into full symphony by the simple pleasures of delicious wine and food, while strolling (or reclining - let's not exert ourselves) in a beautiful Tuscan estate. My recent stay at Relais Ruffino on the Poggio Casciano estate was the setting of dreams. Ruffino is one of the oldest and most internationally recognised Italian wine producers. The Relais Ruffino is the first accommodation Ruffino has opened on one of their wine estates. I spent three wonderful days relaxing here, exploring nearby towns and vineyards, indulging in wines from Ruffino's collection and learning how to live like a Tuscan. Here's all you need to know about getting there, the estate, the swimming pool surrounded by vineyards, and my top 3 wines I discovered during my stay.
The Relais Ruffino at the Poggio Casciano estate is located in the Tuscan hills just outside the town of Grassina and a 30-minute drive from central Florence. Two airports are within easy reach of the Relais Ruffino - Pisa airport is an 80-minute drive away and Florence airport is just 35 minutes away. Ruffino have 6 estates in Tuscany, each with their own distinct character and producing a range of wines - Poggio Casciano, Montemasso, Santedame, Gretole, Greppone Mazzi and La Solatia. I enjoyed a pasta-making class and dinner at the regal Montemasso estate and a gorgeous picnic among the vines at the Santedame estate, which can be arranged during your stay. If you're planning to spend 3 or 4 nights at the Relais Ruffino, I would highly recommend a day trip to Florence to explore the famous sites of the Piazza del Duomo and the Ponte Vecchio and to visit one of the world's greatest art museums, The Uffizi Gallery.
STYLE AND CHARACTER
The Relais Ruffino is set in a beautiful fourteenth-century Renaissance villa with stunning views of the Tuscan countryside. The interior style is homely-meets-classical Italian with plenty of charming wall murals, objets d'art and drapery - but with all the home comforts. There are 7 double bedrooms which each have a vineyard or garden view and all the regular amenities (Wifi and air-conditioning). A continental breakfast is served in a large indoor dining room or can be taken on a terrace with panoramic views. During the day on the estate, wander through the immaculate gardens or take a tour of the Poggio Casciano cellar followed by a wine tasting. A new restaurant is also opening at Poggio Casciano for lunches and dinners (but was yet not open during my stay).
THE SWIMMING POOL
So good it warrants its own section! The swimming pool at the Relais Ruffino is certainly one of the estate’s crown jewels. Poolside wine tasting was my favourite activity during my stay and I have dreamt of returning to this pool ever since I left. With paradise hues of blue and aquamarine shimmering beside the emerald rows of vines, this gorgeous summer countryside pool setting was a treat for the eyes – the perfect place to relax!
MY TOP THREE WINES
Ruffino Modus 2016 Toscana IGT. This wine is produced from grapes from the Poggio Casciano estate. A robust yet smooth wine packed with flavours of blackberry and cocoa with nuances of balsamic. A very moreish wine that was a real crowd pleaser. A blend of 50% Sangiovese, 25% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon - a classic Super Tuscan style of wine. Want to learn more about Super Tuscan wines? click here.
Ruffino Alauda 2015 Toscana IGT. This wine is produced from grapes from the Poggio Casciano and Montemasso estates. This is the top Super Tuscan wine produced by Ruffino. A blend of 40% Cabernet Franc, 35% Merlot and 25% Colorino. A full-bodied but very well-balanced wine with intense fruit flavours of purple plums and cherries, with layers of sweet spice, coffee and dark chocolate. This wine will age beautifully for many years.
Romitorio di Santedame 2015 Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione. This wine is produced on the Santedame estat and this is a limited production wine of 6,500 bottles made from a blend of 90% Sangiovese grapes and 10% Colorino grapes. A sumptuous wine packed with notes of baked raspberries, cherries and red plum, nuances of dried herbs, warm baking spices and leather with a structure that will allow this wine to age for many years.
FIND OUT MORE
To book a stay at Poggio Casciano click here or email email@example.com
For more information on the Ruffino estates in Tuscany click here
*Thank you to La Toscana di Ruffino for sponsoring this blog post.