Grape Destinations: Getting Lost in Florence
Bubbles come in handy when you are fashionably late. That was a great lesson learned on a trip I recently took to Tuscany. You and your travel partners are sharing the wheel. On those hills the views are stunning and nobody cares if the GPS is audible, at least.
The Winding Roads of Florence
I started my trip in Florence staying in a small hotel. Then the adventure of driving in narrow streets began.
I arrived to Castello Banfi in Montalcino after getting lost in Montepulciano. Even when this sounds ridiculous, it is true. It will take 45 minutes from one town to the other, but there was so much to see and experience.
When I arrived to the tasting room, they told me that it is common to get lost on your way and that bubbles were the perfect antidote for being late. What an excellent way to start a memorable visit to this gorgeous place on the hillside.
I had a lovely day tasting wines; from the playful champagne bubbles to the beautiful Rosso di Montalcino Poggio alle Mura. What about Poggio alle Mura Brunello? While it is a very renowned wine, balanced and gracefully made, sometimes wine enthusiasts do not pay attention to other options. The Rosso di Montalcino Poggio alle Mura is made of 100% Sangiovese, elegant with subtle tannins, red berries and clean aftertaste. There is something magical about this wine, which I think is a great excuse to taste some more in the name of discovery!
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Remembering some of my favorite Tuscan wines, it is a must to include the wines of a dear friend, Conde Ferdinando Guicciardini. In the beautiful countryside of Montespertoli, lies a castle dating back to 1199; Castello de Poppiano. Those historic walls, the tall cypress trees, and great weather made the ideal terroir for grapes in the Florentine hills. For centuries, families have maintained the traditional crops of the area: grapes and olives.
Wines of Ferdinando
The vision, craft and knowledge of Ferdinando have contributed to develop his wines, with a very traditional style.
When I first Ferdinando in Florence, he was expecting me a day after my arrival. That was part of the adventure. The other, my luggage was in Spain, for whatever reason. No problem at all, I was in one of the most beautiful settings for wines.
At the Castello di Poppiano, I fell in love not only with the Tricorno, a coupage of Cabernet, Merlot and Sangiovese, elegant full bodied and right for a great conversation about hisotirc neighbors of the castle. Dante Alliguieri anyone? Wines from Florence have their share of terroir, slopes and hills, great sun and weather. To understand terroir is to be able to fond culture, passion and weather in just one glass of wine. Italians now how to do that.
Now days, they have added a new wines, modern style but same respect: La Historia is among them. When I tasted this one, it took me back to the outside of the Uffizi Galleries, where all the great Florentines from the Renaissance are remembered in statues. Micheangelo, Leonardo, Boticelli, Alighieri, and Francesco Guicciardini are there. Francesco was a political writer, author of the History of Italy, supporter of the Mediccis. If you see the crest of the Guicciardinis, you will find the three horns or Tricornio, as remembered in the wines.
I wish to go back to Tuscany, to Poppiano and to Montepulciano: where the colors are subtle, the wind blows on the hills, and the story of Reinassance began to amaze us. I don’t care if I’m late or early. For Tuscany there is not enough time.