A Travellerspoint blog

Tuscany part 2

driving mr. daisy

sunny 28 °C

Our day begins early with breakfast- to be surrounded by Germans- nothing
romantic with that language- as usual we are only Americans in the hotel- like
we are in a fish bowl. Obviously, we are the only Americans contributing to
stimulating the world economic crisis.

After dinner last night, we noticed easles set up throughout the
sitting rooms of the hotel- I thought how cool and naturally wrote all over one-
oops, for the German business conference at the hotel- so they will get a good
look at 'Lincoln loves Julie' in a huge heart since 1981. Sure that will go over
well. At least they will know our names instead of staring at those Americans.

I had hired a driver for 2 days. Lincoln was upset at first- it is a bit
costly-well worth it. I could not take all the u turns on hilly, winding roads.
It would be impossible to locate specific vineyards and not repeating the
Proscecco tour-with the owner staring at us and not quenching my thirst. In
addition- as much as I love maps- no drinking-driving and missing the scenery
because looking for next turn.

We had a woman driver Malfalda- old Italian name. Very sweet and whisked us away
for our first wine tasting in Montalcino. Brunellos were 'on tap' for the day.
The vineyard. August is holiday month-many vineyards have limited hours. We went
to Biondi-Santi. It supposedly started the Brunello in Montalcino. Very small
production-and she wouldn't even let us taste a Brunello-only a rossa(?) A
younger tanic version. Good thing they didn't provide a tasting-cost 250 € for a 2003.

Malfie did not set up this appointment and rewrote our tour to accommodate our
tastes. We went to a great vineyard with a wonderful tour guide and lucky us-
the widows of Boca Raton happened to be on our tour along with NYer's who moved
to California instead of Boca. They were all nice-stereotypical-as we probably
are. Poggi Antico- great tour and tasting and I have 2 cases coming my
way-basement wine(sorry Jason-however Vanessa anytime). Lincoln was the tour
guide's favorite-he answered her questions-his knowledge and awareness is so
amazingly impressive- especially about his new specialty- Italian water- aka
Grappa. He can be a sommelier for Grappa.

We left with a nice warm fuzzy feeling. Next was a nice vineyard for a tasting and light lunch at Bar'bi(?) Vineyard
and guess who sat next to us-Midge and Ethyl from Boca. They had invited us to join them for greggorian chanting concert-How nice was that-couldn't fit it in around the wine. They were eating with Salvatore- asking about swine flu and his life- in true driver fashion- revealed his entire life- wife, kids ages ect. Malfie
has a 'friend'. Lincoln laughs-told him normal-ask Kari.

Had a few more tastings-some upstairs wine on the way- must be careful because
grappa has too much alcohol therefore not send as grappa-in true italian fashion
they place in red wine bottles with wine label or fragile-ceramics. Have to love
it!

We slept on the drive back- dipped in the pool-lots of speedos. Proscecco on
terrace- dinner and strolled around town festival- classic wedding type
band-lots of sequins. Disco on soccer field- just a great day.

Posted by Jcarrara 10:28 Archived in Italy Tagged food Comments (0)

Tuscany

Like a post card

26 °C

It is hard to believe that I arrived in this town- Radda in Chianti- less than a
year ago. This town holds memories of regaining my independence tour; sharing
the magic of Tuscany with Kari and learning of my father's passing. It still is
a beautiful place. As we approached our hotel, Relais Vignale- the shiny red
vespas were parked in the street-and the excitement of bringing Lincoln here
grew.

The town is a castle town with good restaurants, minimal shopping and lots of
wine. A favorite-and busy pizza place had closed- Kari and I had to share a
table with german tourists it was so crowded; another store(t-shirts,post cards
and magnets) had going out of business sale and some shops closed for August.
So many german tourists-more than ever- they appear to be miserable people-no
warmth.

The Vignale is a historical hotel. Is it just outside the castle walls. It is
charming. We were upgraded to a suite-we have a terrace-over looking olive and
cypress trees; vineyards and rolling hills. It is breath taking. The pool is so
inviting. The suite is so historical- I would love to go back in time to see the
original owners.

After moving the car to our room, we went for an antipasto and bottle of wine.
We had not eaten all day. We walked into a enoteca and there was a refrigerator
filled with wine. I opened the door and chose a bottle. We were going to get the
wine with salami/cheeses- I was scolded for opening fridge-out in open with no sign-
the place was not overflowing with people- should have left-stayed and food was
great- once again reminded of the rude-superior attitude Italians have towards
tourists-in this economy- they should be grateful. Next visit, wouldn't be
surprising if they had closed sign on door.

We strolled around and Lincoln was loving Tuscany. Went for a great dinner-
eggplant appetizer, pasta and 2 kg steak. Lincoln loves food-although he is
naturally thin-he can eat! I believe the staff had fun watching him finish
everything.

We went home-preparing for our long 2 days of wine tastings; touring and cooking
class.

Posted by Jcarrara 01:48 Archived in Italy Tagged food Comments (0)

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