In a word – yes.
My next series of trip reports are going to be based on an absolutely fantastic trip to Tuscany September 2016. Mr H and I took a trip stopping in various places throughout this beautiful regions and I can honestly say it is in contention for my most favourite trip ever.
This trip was based around wine, food, stunning countryside and…well more wine but hey what is wrong with that?? We stayed in Florence, Siena, and Volterra, taking day trips into the regions winey heartland each day. The first of which was an unusual start some might say for an area known for its red wine – San Gimignano. A medieval town known for its many towers.
We started the day in this area tasting olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I can honestly say this changed how I view and feel about these two products forever. The oil was so strong in colour and full of flavour from peppery spice to fresh cut grass. The vinegar was ranged from shorter to longer years of aging and they were thick like molasses and sweet yet still tart. We tried this with the obvious savoury accompaniments but then also with strawberries and ice cream – try it, you will not regret!
We moved on to a family run vineyard in the San Gimignano countryside which specialise in the local vernaccia grape variety. Vernaccia from San Gimignano is given the highest level of status in the Italian wine world – Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG). The vineyard we visited was Capella Sant Andrea, we enjoyed the beautiful views and a tour of their organic wine making facilities.
Following this, we sampled 4 of the vineyards wines including a classic Vernaccia and also their “Prima Luce” which uses a virtually extinct method of fermentation in terracotta pots. We purchased a couple of bottles. It would end up being a difficult balancing act to know what wine to buy where in order to not end up with too much to ship home at the end of the week!
What I am Eating…
This area is famous for its gastronomic credentials as well as wine – isn’t all of Italy! On this first day we took lunch at a saffron farm as San Gimignano is known for the production of this also, we were able to sample white chocolate made in the region with saffron which was sweet yet had a slight medicinal flavour embedded from the spice and a wonderful golden colour. This week would be full of wonderful food and this plate of classic Italian antipasti such as courgette fritter and fried sage would be just the start.
Later that night we returned to our base for the next few days in Siena and strolled out in the evening to find some food…and more wine! A little research concluded that if we wanted pizza (and who could resist when in Italy?) then Il Pomodorino was the place to go – proper Neopolitan Pizza with a fab view from their lively front terrace. Can’t argue with that.
Stay posted for the next installment of my travels in this absolutely fantastic region.
Mrs H x