Our weekend on the Farm

Trip Start Jul 02, 2012
Trip End Jul 17, 2012

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Where I stayed
Tenuta di Argiano Montepulciano
Read my review - 3/5 stars

Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Tenuto di Argiano was certainly an agritourismo as advertised. The pastoral landscape was just as we imagined. The owners of the farm were very cordial and went out of their way to accommodate our needs to the best of their ability. Having grown up around farms in Michigan I had never been one to "over-romanticize" the life of a farmer or living on a farm, for that matter. So, the experience we had here was not fully unexpected. It is a tough life in Michigan and seems similar in Italy. With about 100 hectares in use, Lorenzo diDominica and his family produce olive oil (olio), grains for their livestock and two varieties of wine. We tried the Chianti which was excellent.

His farming (not his hotel business) is clearly his priority. This seemed obvious to me since the 200 year old Italianate farmhouse, where we stayed, is suffering from some substantial deferred maintenance. We stayed in a lower level room in the rear of the house that was once used as a kitchen with large baking ovens evident in the walls of the room. It was very private but a little musty smelling so we slept with just the screen door closed to allow for the cooler night air to filter into the room while we were sleeping.  (He and his family live in a different house down the road.) While the night air was dry and very comfortable, the day time temperatures were much less bearable at 90 plus degrees every day with no clouds for cover. One of the unexpected pleasures on the farm was a very nice pool with fantastic views of two nearby "hill towns", Montepuliciano and Chianciano. We spent part of both Saturday and Sunday by the pool trying to beat the heat. At night time, sitting by the pool, the little hill towns glittered like Christmas trees from the 5 and 10 mile distances we viewed them from. It was very peaceful and serene; much like our most remote farms in Michigan.

On both Saturday and Sunday we trekked into Montepulciano for the typical tourist experience, admiring the historic architecture and experiencing "La Dolce Vita" (the good life) literally and figuratively. We did much and we did nothing but we enjoyed it all. We want to thank Joshua and Belinda for enhancing our experience here by recommending Inoteca "La Dolce Vita" (a wine store and restaurant) in this town. We visited the establishment and were welcomed by Marica who said she had been expecting us. Josh and Belinda had prepared them for our visit and purchased a gift certificate on our behalf which was a pleasant surprise. We took advantage of the gesture and decided to ship 6 bottles of Vino Nobile home for special occasions. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is the specialty wine from this area of Italy. The food was great as well.

All in all; hot, beautiful and fun with very little down side!

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