|from $4,940* per person||7 Days||May, October
Exertion level: 4
|Operator: Peggy Markel
18 people max
A wine and food adventure through the magical hills of Tuscany. Three Valoriani wood-fired ovens give us the best kitchen in which to explore authentic Tuscan cooking.
Tuscany. Its scenic beauty and rich cultural heritage have long made it one of the world’s most popular travel destinations. Yet the typical visitor rarely has the time to delve more deeply – to understand the essence of the place by exploring the land, meeting its people and sharing a traditional meal. To the Tuscans, food and wine reflect their celebration of life … and they believe that celebration should be enjoyed with others.
The Tuscans often use the word “genuino” to describe the products of their land. It means genuine, but also implies a natural quality, carefully nurtured in the soils of the region. To understand genuino is to understand the sense of place – much like the French terroir – that is so much a part of the region’s food and wine culture.
Join Peggy as she teams up with noted chef Piero Ferrini and wine professionals Laine Boswell and Bernardo Conticelli to introduce you to a genuine Tuscan experience. You will meet the producers of some of the region’s most outstanding wines, cheeses and olive oils, learn the secrets of local cooking traditions and experiment with food and wine pairings. And you’ll also have the time, in the best of Italian traditions, to savor the bounty of Tuscany around a table with family and friends.
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A Week of Tuscan Food and Wine Adventures
Mornings are spent roaming the countryside on foot to visit the bakery, or winery, or the local culinary herbalist.
Back in the kitchen, we prepare for the day's classes. A course each day, starting with antipasti, then primo piatto, secondo piatto, e dolce – dessert – to take us to the end of the week. Each of these comprehensive, hands-on classes
will end with an exciting meal, cooked with local ingredients and local authentic techniques. Sitting down to enjoy the food and wine choices together puts a finishing touch on the day.
We explore hill towns for tastings, as well as Florence, to visit some of its best wine and specialty food shops, and a few of the great winebars and trattorias.
We’ll eat at a local and very traditional agriturismo restaurant in the countryside, where everything comes from the farm and is prepared by the family who produces it.
Focus on Wine
Spend time with Laine and Bernardo to review the basics of tasting. We will discuss how to distinguish the profile of a wine based on its color, density in the glass, smell, and finally, taste. We will also learn the various characteristics of traditional grapes of the Tuscan region: Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Colorino, Ciliegiolo (representing the traditional contingent), and Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (representing the currently admitted international contingent), among the red varietals, as well as several whites, including Trebbiano, Vernaccia, Vermentino and Malvasia.
We will visit small and large wine growers and producers in the Chianti Classico region whose families have passed on, from generation to generation, the passion and tradition of winemaking. We will learn about the history of their family properties, visit vineyards and cellars that are generally inaccessible to the public, and, of course, taste their wines. Chianti Classico is located in the true heart of Tuscan wine country, and is one of the most celebrated growing areas in all of Tuscany, Italy, and the world.
Take a walking tour through olive groves and out into the countryside to gain a better understanding of the terroir. With a local guide, we can spend a few hours identifying herbs, fruits and other plants of the region to determine their olfactory presence in the wines we taste.
Visit Siena’s famous Enoteca Italiana, an Italian wine museum housed in a 16th century Fortezza Medicea. We will tour the grounds and see the 1200 different wine labels that are stored in the amazing cellar underneath. After our visit we can soak up a bit of Sienese sun with a glass of wine on the terrace.
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