Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tuscany

On November 7, a few of my friends and I headed for Tuscany -- we had signed up for a wine tasting trip that was run by our school. We met right by the school at 7am and boarded the bus, then began the three-hour drive to Tuscany.

The drive was quick -- pretty much the entire bus (myself included) slept the whole time. As the bus got closer to the vineyard, things got a bit scary because we were pretty much scaling a mountain on a road that was definitely NOT made for tour Coach buses. Luckily we made it there alive :)

We all piled off the bus and headed toward the vineyard worker, who would be our tour guide for the day. Let me just say that Le Fattorie di Donatella Cinelli Colombini is probably the most gorgeous place I have ever visited (so far! ;)) When you think of Tuscany, what images pop into your head? Probably wine, rolling hills, grapes, flowers, fruit, etc. Well, this place was definitely the 'stereotypical' view of Tuscany then! It was all I'd ever expected Tuscany to be, and much more.

Entryway



Part of the main building


Our tour guide took us up to the overlook area to show us the view of the countryside and tell us about the history of winemaking in the Toscana region




Fall was in full swing there, with the leaves changing and bright colors everywhere


A Persimmon Tree, something I had never seen before


Our guide took us out to the area where they actually make the wine. The ground was covered in grape juice and it smelled amazing in there! She showed us these big metal canisters that hold the wine as it ages. One of the canisters below holds enough wine to make 75,000 (yes, 75,000!) bottles of wine...nuts!


There were two workers there working with some wine


After giving us more information about the wine making process, our guide took us to the wine cellar


Wine in hand in the cellar ;)


Area just outside the cellar where we had our wine tasting


This vineyard only produces red wines, and these were two of the types that we learned the history of. We tried the one on the left, Cenerentola, which means Cinderella.


The interesting thing I learned about this vineyard is that it is run completely by women. When its founder Donatella decided to start creating wines, she went to a few schools in Tuscany looking for some recently graduated students to work for her. Each school told her that she could have a female student immediately, but if she wanted a male, she's have to wait 6 months to a year, because most vineyards only wanted males to work for them. Donatella didn't understand this, so she decided to take a female student to pretty much show the world that women can do what are typically men's jobs, too, and perhaps even do them better. ;) Since then, she has only taken on women workers, and the complete operation is run only by women.

After trying the two types of wine, we had a pasta making lesson from Antonio, one of the chefs who works at the restaurant on premises.


Antonio showed us how to make fresh pasta -- just mix flour, olive oil, an egg, and water together gradually, then knead the dough


Let it rest for ten minutes, then start rolling and shaping your pasta


After the demonstration, we to the restaurant right next door for dinner


My friends and me


This meal was long and leisurely, and amazingly delicious :) It definitely lasted over two hours long because of the way they spanned the dishes. During the meal, we had the chance to sample two other types of wine as well.

Antipasti


Primo piatto


Secondo


Dolce...a peach tart


After stuffing ourselves, we went outside behind the restaurant to see the view and take some pictures near the vineyard








Next we went back toward the lookout area our guide had taken us to earlier so we could take more pictures and relax until we had to get back on the bus and head back to Rome.

Lime tree






It just doesn't get much better than this




Olive tree


Olives








Grapes


My friend took this photo right before we left. It cracks me up every time because it looks like the dog is being called home! Or as my friend said, All Dogs Go to Heaven...haha ;)


And that concluded my day in Tuscany -- it was unreal! The best part was that we were able to order wine/olive oil if we wanted to, and they would ship it home for us. I may or may not have ordered two bottles of wine and a bottle of olive oil...I can't wait to dig into them when I get home in December and relive my Tuscan experience ;)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Was that Aunt Debbie laying under the vat of wine with her mouth open? LOL
Mom

linanne said...

What beautiful beautiful pictures. The last one with the dog looked Heavenly..

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