Wines of the Tuscan Islands
Elba is often called the pearl of the Tuscan Archipelago, and in fact Aphrodite is said to have lost a pearl from her necklace here when trying to reach its coastline. Many come for its beaches, clear blue waters and picturesque landscapes, but Elba is also an island with a fascinating history and longstanding culinary tradition. Made famous by Napolean Bonarparte's less than difficult exile in 1814, the island has been inhabited by just about every civilization under the Tuscan sun, each leaving behind their contribution to its culture and cuisine.
Wine has been grown on Elba since Greek times but one wine in particular has been made there for centuries. Aleatica dell'Elba Passito DOCG is made only on Elba from Aleatico grapes that are late-harvested then dried on racks to make a deliciously aromatic sweet wine that is balanced by the grape's high acidity. The island also produces dry white, red and rosé wines that range in style from crisp and delicate, pairing perfectly with the local seafood, to full-bodied wines that are rich in fruit and spice, a perfect pairing with grilled meat.
Your tour this morning starts with a spectacularly scenic drive from the main port of Portoferraio along the coast with views of Corsica, Monte Cristo and outlines of the southern islands of the Tuscan Archipelago, all the way to the Punta Calamite. This peninsula offers one of the most beautiful panoramas on the island and is home to Elba's top producer, Tenta delle Ripalte. Here, in an area protected by the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, are the estate vineyards. Located high on the cliffs, the vines benefit from the maritime cooling influences and are maintained with a primary focus on sustainability. The winery itself is built on three levels for a gravity transfer system and was designed by architect Tobia Scarpa for a complete integration into the surrounding landscape. You will take a tour here before tasting a range of their best wines.
A trip to Elba is not complete without a visit to the beach. So after your tasting you will transfer to one of our favorite seafood restaurants on the coast overlooking the water.
Enjoy a multi-course lunch served with local wines, then relax on the beach or go for a swim. After lunch you guide will take you on an informative walk through the historic part of Portoferraio. You will have some time to browse the boutiques before heading back to the ship.