Best ways of getting your bottles back home safely
Bringing home the delicious vino that you taste on your journey is often the most fastidious issue that we wine-loving travellers have to deal with. So here's a little advice on different ways you can deal with it. Firstly, find out about your home country’s regulations. If you’re travelling within the EU there are basically no limits (unless you’re flying and weight is a limit). Outside the EU each country will have its own rules. For example, the US will allow 2 bottles of wine duty-free (or 1 litre of alcohol) per person over 21, anything over that limit will be subject to duty (typically around a dollar per bottle). Canada is a little more restrictive - 1 bottle per person after which the bottles are subject to duty (more expensive than the US).
Travelling with wine
If you take the odd bottle with you home in your suitcase probably no need to say that you need to check it and of course make sure the bottle well protected in your suitcase. Either wrap your bottles in your dirty clothes and stick them in the centre of your case or perhaps invest in a WineSkin (see picture - approx 4 euro) - if you're doing a wine tour with Grape Tours Wine Skins are available for purchase at the end of your tour at Tuscany in a Bottle.If you're a serious wine traveller, you may consider investing in a suitcase for your wines that you can bring along to collect for example 12 of your favourite bottles from your trip. Lazanne makes very nice wine-suitcases.
Shipping wine home
Shipping wine is a relatively painless way to receive the wines you loved the most. It'll inflict a little heavier on your pocket, but you'll be saved from back pain logging the heavy bottles around. There are several shipping companies that offer shipping throughout Italy (e.g. MBE, Logistics, etc.). Standard prices are around 10 euro per bottle but can vary slightly according to the company branch, the destination and the quantity shipped (best deal is usually for the case of 12).Wineries usually partner with one or more shipping companies and offer to ship wines directly to guests. Many offer a price list “to go” if you take the wine with you and another list with “shipping included” where the shipping cost is included in the price per bottle of wine. The minimum volume for shipping tends to be 6 bottles, but as mentioned the shipping costs are most efficient for 12.Bear in mind that you can only ship wine & olive oil - not grappa or limoncello.Standard shipping time is usually around 3-5 weeks (Europe, of course, is faster).Many shipping companies have restrictions of where they ship to (e.g. Canada can be tricky), so do ask at each winery as they may collaborate with different shipping companies that work in different ways.
On a Grape Tours' wine tour from Florence
The wineries that we take our guests to on our wine tours from Florence all offer to ship wines directly to guests, as just mentioned.Further to this, Grape Tours offers to hold guests' wines for the shipping company to pick them up if for example guests prefer to pick up different wines at different wineries during the day and collect a case with wines from the different wineries. Furthermore, it's possible to fill up an incomplete case with wines that are offered at the Tuscany in a Bottle wine shop at the end of the day. This gives Grape Tours' guests the maximum flexibility and we can thereby provide our guests with more variety and choices of what suits them best, a service uniquely offered by a high-quality wine tour operator.