Under the Tuscan Rain

Trip Start Sep 28, 2009
Trip End Oct 23, 2009

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Well, if Ferrari's Maranello is John's heaven, than Tuscany must be Dawn's. This place was a fabulous respite for us, after being in the frenzy of Florence. On top of rolling Tuscan Hills, we found a relaxing place to look upon the vineyards of sangiovese grapes and groves of olive trees. 

Although it has been a very dry summer here, and thus much of the grapes have yet to be harvested, we had two beautiful days of rain. No complaints here, as we were able to get caught up on relaxation and "stopping to smell the roses." We did get a chance to traverse the property at which we stayed, it's harvest season right now for the olives, and of course an olive oil (ollio) sampling was in order.. a unique tasting experience to gain new appreciation. Of course the Tuscan rain also gave us an "excuse" to tour an old winery with its cellar housed beneath a Benedictine monastery built in 395 AD, the Abbey of Passignano.

The old wine cellars of the abbey, hold wooden barrels where a Chianti Classico Riserva is aged; produced from the vineyards surrounding the monastery, and eventually served at the Osteria next door. Wow, the Italians really take wine making seriously, specifically Chianti Classico. Very seriously. It is a science, a passion, a way of life. We were very impressed with our Master Sommelier and tour guide, his knowledge of it all; chemistry, world buying (and tasting) preferences, etc. was immense. The tour of the cellar, and an Antinori vineyard concluded with a very tasty five course lunch pairing, the food and wine were really both quite fabulous.

Of course, souvenirs have been purchased here as well. John found way to purchase himself a case of Badia di Passignano 2006 docg, Dawn's new favorite red... a match made in heaven.

Tomorrow promises sunshine, we'll get out for fresh air and more scenic postcard pictures before we head south to Rome.

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