Tuscany continued…

We just can’t get enough… 🙂  Heather and I stayed in a little studio in Tavernelle, out in the middle of olive trees and vineyards. Our home for 4 days, Destination relaxation.

Once we got a few Zzzzz’s and caught up on family communication, we head into Florence for the day. Unfortunately it was FREEZING! Our first goal was to get warm and see the famous “David” in the Academia.  Despite all the signs, I didn’t realize photography wasn’t allowed until Heather got in trouble.  But I decided I could probably get a quick shot with my phone…but got in trouble too. However, worth the blurry photo, it provides natural censorship 🙂 It was huge, I’m talking of the statue of course…amazing details Michelangelo!

Then we hit up a famous Gelato joint, now in New York…Grom…YUM!

Another famous church…We didn’t go in, we have had enough church for the next year or five 🙂  The details though, even on the outside, are indescribable……

Roberto to the rescue! He is nice enough to come and grab us from our isolated location to show us around the Chianti region. He is quite involved in Archaeology so wanted to share with us a famous tomb.

Also found here is the rose hip bush, responsible for treating Rabies.

Then into a cute medieval town,  Castagnolia. Population: 25

And has an amazing view!

Now to our first winery of the day!  It is in an old castle, which is turning out to be quite popular as it provides a large area with the best natural cellars requiring minimal maintenance and temperature control. This is Rocca di Castagnoli.

Note the mold on the walls.  I was so grossed out by this but it is a good thing, meaning that there is the perfect climate for the barrels. Not to dry, not to wet.  There are filters on the wall so that people don’t breath in the fungal microbes.

This is the cellar where the special dessert wine called Vinsanto ages for 7 years!!!!  It’s so delicious! Super strong but leaves a dry after taste instead of sweet.

And then the tasting, my favorite part!  Similar to the Brunello region, Chianti has the same guidelines to be sold as “Chianti Classico, DOCG”.  You look for the pink label around the neck and usually worth the extra money you will be paying.  Also, they have what is called Super Tuscan.  Basically meaning its grown with the same Sangiovese grapes but don’t soak in the barrels for as long.

Next winery, Casa Emma.  Fabio, one of the wine makers, gave us the grand tour before the tasting.  It was very nice and a different feel than the others we had been to.  Not many oak barrels, mostly the large silver VATS, looked to be more of a larger distribution winery.

His Chianti’s were ok but was really amazing was a Merlot!  It tasted like no other Merlot that I’ve ever had, delicious!  He also made the Vinsanto dessert wine as well.

He insisted we try his Grappa.  We have heard of this “Grappa” and that it is terrible.  We thought we could escape Italy without trying it.  The Italians like to use it is as an after dinner ‘digestive’ drink, I will be sticking to Limoncello thank you.  It tasted horrific, maybe what moonshine may taste of…so Heather took over the wine pouring to give us a nice Merlot chaser 🙂

Then we somehow got on to talking about the vines, up keep….who knows, we have had a lot of wine by this point:)  Moral of the story, Fabio said they have a Lamborghini tractor?!  We obviously didn’t believe him so we got to go check it out! Sorry John Deer…

Good times!  Tuscany will be visited again, but in the spring, lots of colors….see you in a few months Roberto!

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