Day 8 - Experiencing Chianti At Its Best
After such a wonderful evening of fine dining, fun and frivolity in the fabulous DelBrenna showroom we were all just a little quieter setting out this morning as we headed to the Chianti region to discover the flavours of the Super Tuscans or Chianti Classico and what makes them so special.
The area around Chianti is synonymous with the famous red wine in squat bottles with straw baskets. Wine has been cultivated in the Chianti region since the time of the Etruscans when experimenting with grafting and hybrid varieties. The region was officially demarcated as the Chianti wine zone by Cosimo Medici III early in the 18th century, and the Chianti DOC title was created in 1967 and in 1984 was further promoted to the highest Italian wine. Today the zone produces in excess of 750,000 hL of wine per year.
First stop on our agenda for the day is the very magnificently located Arceno Winery where we were warmly greeted by Patrizia who took us through six of their best red wines explaining the differences between each of them and explaining what mix of grapes makes their wines so superb. For instance, to be classed as a Chianti Classico there must be at least 85% Sangoviese grapes used in the making of the wine. This gives the wine a distinctly different flavour and aroma to most red wines that we experience in Australia and does take a little getting used to.
The showroom/tasting room is such an elegant setting with floor to ceiling glass windows looking out over the vines that have been planted not in the normal straight lines that you see everywhere in Tuscany but in waves, as the owners, the Jackson family from America wanted to replicate the rolling hills of Tuscany. What an extraordinary outcome to look at and no easy feat I am sure to have achieved such perfection complete with obelisk and statues on the estate and driveways that are picture perfect rows of cypress trees.
Following our first three tastings came the food, oh my, how good was that, platters of melt in the mouth melon with prosciutto, salami, spinach and cheese flan, breads of all different flavours drizzled with olive oil from the estate all accompanied by our second set of three red wines, Arceno’s best.
Following our wonderful tasting and lunch experience we took the short drive to San Gusme, a quaint village where we strolled through the streets in the middle of siesta time taking in the ‘prettiness’ of the village with photo opportunities everywhere.
Feeling very mellow from our lovely lunch, our visit to the picturesque village of San Gusme, our drive through the rolling hills of Chianti and the total feeling of living la dolce vita we continued on to our next stop… definitely off the tourist map… Locanda Casanouva where we partook in a completely different wine tasting experience with the wonderful Thilo and olive oil lesson sitting on the terrace overlooking the most superb countryside, all organic before it’s time. Talk about a blissful feeling before finishing up with a beautiful meal and heading home feeling very replete and blessed at being able to experience such a wonderful day again.
Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings….