Theregion and wine. Made a day trip today (21 April). It was a package arranged by an agency in Florence and advertised at the language school. Now that I’m finally home I can uppload the text and all the pictures from my cell phone.
Spent a day in Chianti with the themes of hiking and wine tasing. It was an excursion of 10 hrs with about 20 young Americans. Unfortunately I was not wise enough to ask about the other partcipants when booking.
The day started early. We me at 7:30 at Santa Maria Novella Station. Thank God the italian guide mistook me first for not understanding English and so he spoke Italian to me. This quaranteed special attention and a daily dose of Italian language. Bravo!
The weather changed from cloudy and rainy into sunny. We started in x and took a hike in Montefioralle. A pictueresque small village on top of a hill. Quite a bit of climbing.
The trip continued with a visit to a wine shop and then we took the bus to the next village Panzano in Chianti. This is another lovely town in the heart of Chianti. Actually in the very middle of it – 31 km to Florence, and Siena.
Now it was time for the wine tasting at the Sassolini house. Lorenzo Sassolini, the wine maker, was young and very good looking. This to the delight of all us, the ‘girls’ in the group. Some of the girls could not take their eyes off him and were giggling practically through the visit.
We took a look into to small scale wine making – all biological and a business running in the family for generations (also centuries). Lorenzo’s farther is the only person in the long line that did not take up wine making and thus Lorenzo had to reintroduce it and renew some of the facilitites. It was an interesting tour.
We were then led into the family house and their living room or rather dining room. Yes, they opened their doors to us and we sat down in a grande room with a warming fire in the fireplace. The room was full of antiquities among which pictures of the family’s ach enamy, the Medici. According to Lorenzo the pictures have helped them not to forget the enemy.
We tasted a fragrant Chianti Classico and a Chianti riserva. Another red, vinsanto and grappa. All this in the midst of a plentiful lunch. Yes, it was plentiful yet simple: salami, procuitto, bread, beans, bread with fresh olive oil, pasta with pesto and pasta with tomato sauce with vinasanto and cantuccini as dolce (dessert).
Before returning to the bus stop we took a lovely stroll in the garden. The first flowers and trees in bloom in the midst of a bit of a decay – just as it should to make a romantic effect. Que bello! Birds twittering in the afternoon sun and all of us happy and bellies full.