Andiamo!

Today provided a nice respite which our feet sorely needed.  We departed the urban Roman landscape and headed north, appreciating the beautiful views of the countryside as it evolved into rolling hills, fields of poppies, rows of Cyprus and Tuscan shades of umber.

Slide1

Stopping for lunch in the quaint village of Greve in Chianti, we discovered an incredible local shop our Travel Director Giuseppe recommended, Macelleria Falorni.

greve shop

Here we joined some of our new Australian friends from our travel group on the patio for a wonderful lunch of fresh cheeses, salamis and french bread topped off with a delicious Chianti.

Slide2

We then headed to a nearby wine and olive oil producer, Castello Vicchiomaggio where they explained their process for making their Chianti followed up of course by tastings of two of their varieties of each wine and olive oil.

wine cellar

Back to our very comfy coach where our driver continued to skillfully navigate the narrow winding roads to the hilltop village Colle Val D’Elsa.  Our hotel is lovely and a good place to use as home base for the next couple of days.  But the best was yet to come…

hotel

Tonight we had a fabulous evening on one of the trip highlights, the Be My Guest dinner.  Again continuing our climb up some winding roads, we were dropped off at the end of a cypress-lined drive marking the entrance to Fatoria Di Petroio.

BMG lane

Owner Pamela Lenzi greeted us warmly with a gracious welcome providing us with a history of this vineyard which has been in the family for many generations.  We were joined by her daughter Diana, a professionally trained chef and owner /manager of the vineyard.  We were given a tour of their production facilities along with explanations of their efforts to establish themselves as a leading maker of fine Chiantis.

Pamela Lenzi BMG

We were then led through heavy wooden arched doors into a charming stone and brick wine cellar with heavy wooden beams supporting the roof.  The end of the room was lined with several large oak casks and the center was set with a table where we experienced Tuscan hospitality, food and wines at their finest.

Slide5

Diana by this time had retreated to the kitchen where she worked her culinary magic producing a sophisticated and flavorful four-course meal.

Slide4

Dinner began with a first course of fresh ricotta and chives flan on top of a bed of fresh baby lettuce lightly drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette  and a few golden raisins.  A basket of freshly baked French and focaccia breads.  A small flask of their own olive oil was provided. A plate Ofchianti Classico salami and pecorino cheese was passed around.  A Igt Rosso Toscano Poggio al Mandorlo wine was a delightful wine to accompany this first course.

Slide3

We were then presented with a beautiful plate of Matriciana Chiantigiana, freshly made pasta, mixed with pancetta cooked with balsamic vinaigrette, oven roasted cherry tomato slices dressed with a warm olive oil dressing sprinkled with fresh pecorino cheese. Chianti Classico docg, balanced the flavors of this dish.

pasta

The main course  was a Sage Chicken Stew with Lemon Potato Gateau and Wild Greens….this richly flavored dish delicately blended a variety of subtle flavors to a mouthwatering conclusion.  Chianti Classico Reserva docg accompanied this course providing it’s own wonderful blend of subtle but palate pleasing tastes. (oops, it was so good we forgot to take a picture before we ate it all!)

gone chicken

Finally we ended the evening with a delightful dessert of Panna Cotta with Hot Chocolate&Wine accompanied by Vinsanto for our final drink.  The panna cotta was simply heavenly.  The hot chocolate and wine was developed by an area chocolate specialist and very sadly we were not able to get any to take home.

dessert

There will be sweet dreams in Tuscany tonight….this is Lauren and Linda signing out….Ciao Baby!

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One response to “Andiamo!

  1. TSN

    After another Ed Picken’s luncheon today…..I really enjoyed this post….I can taste your pictures.
    Keep up the great posts…they are making my week.

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