CASTLE WINE WORKSHOP (WSET 1)- This is a four-day (five night) residential course held in a beautifully restored medieval Tuscan castle at Castello di Potentino. 

Learn the essentials about wine with a special focus on the wines of Italy, following the globally recognised WSET approach. What is special about this long weekend is timing - You have chosen to visit Italy during the Vendemmia - Harvest Time! It is a very exciting time to be here, to see the vines in full flourish, and experience the magical energy of this festive moment in the wine calendar (It also makes study so much easier when you can see the grapes on the vine, have a go at picking and watch the activity in the winery).



The Wine Course

Learn the essentials about wine (with a special focus on the wines of Italy), following the globally recognized WSET approach during a four night stay at the beautiful medieval Tuscan castle, Castello di Potentino.

The Level 1 WSET course teaches the student the fundamentals so they leave the castle clear about what wines they like and how to verbalise that other essentials such as - How wine is made, What are the "Noble" grape varieties, How to select a wine off a wine list, How to corectly serve and store wine and How to spot a faulty wine. Participate in food and wine matching workshops, and enjoy a sparkling wine breakfast - comparing the bubbles in Champagne, Cava and Prosecco - for academic purposes of course…

Enjoy simple, home (castle) cooked meals in the dining room of the castle prepared using locally sourced organic and free range ingredients and vegetables from Potentino's vegetable garden-Fresh bread, jams, fruit and yogurt is served in the breakfast room each morning. Celebrate the end of the course with a meal at Il Silene, cooked by Michelin-starred local chef Roberto Rossi. 

  • The weekend is hosted by castle owners, Charlotte Horton and Alexander Greene, The wine course will be taught by Decanter Italian wine writer and VIA Italian Wine Ambassador, Emily O’Hare - previously Head Sommelier and Wine Buyer at The River Café.

The Castle

Castello di Potentino is set on Mount Amiata in the south of Tuscany, itis a working organic farm that produces award-winning wines and olive oil. Its grounds include a private chapel and beautiful garden. Built on an Etruscan site Castello di Potentino lies in a secret valley in one of the last undiscovered corners of Tuscany – Monte Amiata.  The medieval building is surrounded by unspoilt countryside, dotted with the vines and the ancient olive trees used for the estate’s small production of high quality wine, grappa and oil.

The first document to mention the Castello di Potentino is dated 1042. However, the original foundations are probably Etruscan. Over the centuries the property passed through the hands of many well-known Tuscan families of noble descent - the Tolomei, the Bonsignori, and the the Salimbeni, whom in the company of Contessa Bianchina, received Saint Catherine of Siena as a guest at the castle. At the end of the 16th Century it became a centre for the charitable works of the hospital order of Santa Maria della Scala.

After this period of religious activity, the Medici Duke Ferdinando I conceded the estate to Marchese Giovan Battista Bourbon del Monte, famous commander-in-chief of the infantry of the Venetian Republic. His descendants finally sold the castle to a gentleman from Switzerland, Antonio Hemmeler, in 1906. Recently it was purchased and restored by the Greene family, who have given new life to the ancient traditions of the building. The castle has eight luxurious bedrooms. The rooms all have different designs, some with wood beams and others with frescoes on the ceiling. Each one has antique furniture and plenty of old world charm.

Agriculture and viticulture are about growing and living, so eating and drinking well are an important element in the Potentino ethos which is concerned with the sustainability of how we inhabit a place and relate to it physically and mentally. The castle has its own vineyards, olive groves and vegetable garden.



Castello di Potentino lies in a secret valley nestled in one of the last undiscovered corners of Tuscany - the Amiata.


Nearest airports are Pisa (2hrs 15 minutes), Florence Peretola (2hrs 30 minutes), Perugia (2hrs 15 minutes, but difficult driving) Rome Fiumicino (3hrs) and Rome Ciampino (3 hrs 30 minutes)

By Car

We recommend that people coming to Potentino come by car as it gives the maximum amount of freedom and there are no local taxi services on Monte Amiata.


42.924265, 11.543227

Train Stations

Grosseto is the nearest mainline station (50 minutes by car) although Chiusi/Chianciano Terme is also an option. There are also nearer stations at Buonconvento and Paganico but the trains are infrequent and transport can be difficult to arrange from there. Train timetables are available here.

Taxis And Private Cars

There are usually taxis available at Grosseto station. They should cost about €100-€120. If you would like us to organise a private car, we can do so.


Buses can be found to our local towns Seggiano and Castel del Piano from Grosseto train station. The timetable is available at Tiemme SPA.

Electric Vehicles

We have two chargers for Electric Vehicles, one for Teslas and one for other cars which are free to use.

Phone +39 0564.950014
Reception +39 0564 950643


 Day 1

Welcome aperitivo and Wine Tasting with Charlotte Horton, Castello di Potentino’s owner and winemaker who will guide you through the castle’s award winning wines. Evening meal in the castle dining room.

Day 2
Breakfast and the course begins, “Introduction to wine, Types and Styles and the Principal Grape Varieties” 
Lunch followed by a trip to the town of Montalcino. Free time for shopping, gelato, a glass of Brunello!
Brunello Tasting at a famous estate in Montalcino before returning to Potentino for dinner
Day 3
The course continues with a food and wine workshop: “The principles of food and wine matching and the characteristics of the Noble Grape varieties.”

Free time to explore the area and enjoy the swimming pool.
Dinner in the Potentino courtyard.
Day 4
A morning hike pre or post breakfast, through the vineyards to the Etruscan winemaking stones (Both optional), Wine session “Common wine faults, service and storage” and short multiple choice exam.
Free time to relax by the pool, in the castle libraries, or take a walk into nearby village of Seggiano.

Evening Pasta and Risotto Masterclass with Il Silene’s Roberto Rossi followed by meal at the restaurant matched with wines selected by Roberto.

Day 5
Breakfast and Departure

How To Book:

Please follow this link:

I will be teaching all classes during this long weekend, but not hosting and therefore not taking bookings, To book please follow link, or email:

Any queries however please do not hesitate to email me: