The Wine and oil trail of the Etruscan Coast covers an itinerary of over 150 km along the Tyrrhenian coast and includes Elba Island in the province of Livorno, extending into the province of Pisa. In this zone it is possible to taste wines in one of the cellars amid the vineyards on hills overlooking the intense blue of the sea and the myriad shades of green of the Mediterranean vegetation.
There are oil presses to visit, where you can learn to recognize oil from the different varieties and enjoy the tasty Tuscan cuisine in restaurants surrounded by the friendly atmosphere of a guest farm.
We are in that part of Tuscany where the Italian wine revolution had its beginnings, with the precursor of the “Super Tuscans”: Sassicaia, and continued with the initiatives of many winemakers from this territory, scattered through the five DOC zones of the area, where there is also an excellent production of fine olive oil and other food products of quality used in the rich local cuisine.
The first DOC zone that we encounter arriving from the north is the Terratico di Bibbona, the youngest DOC, where large and small producers have started to produce wines of excellent quality.
After we find the Montescudaio DOC, in the Province of Pisa, a rather cool and hilly area where the wines are elegant and fragrant, sometimes almost austere.
After a few kilometres we are in the Bolgheri DOC zone, home to Sassicaia and other great wines, the stars of Italian wine history in recent years. From Bolgheri we pass by the road lined with cypress trees made famous by Carducci’s poem, and now declared a national monument.
Then we come to San Guido where the Sassicaia wine cellar is located, with the Wine and Oil Road information office. We head farther south and come to the Val di Cornia DOC zone where the wines have a solid character and where the particular mineral formations in the soil give the great reds a deep, austere aspect.
We take to the sea at Piombino and reach Elba Island where the aleatico passito is the most typical and interesting wine but where the work of a few dedicated producers is developing a fine family of reds and some white wines that are flavourful and well-structured.