. Vite Vinifera De Vino's Blog: Day IV and V

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Day IV and V

For the first time since I'd landed in Italy, I finally managed to sleep until late and had a totally relaxed day.
I woke up around 12 and slowly came back to life; met up with Filippo and the others for some lunch and then headed to Tavon, where the "La Pineta Hotel and Spa" was about to give me a long relaxing afternoon.
Sauna, Turkish bath, Roman bath, aromatic showers and a swimming pool with small waterfalls to massage your neck and shoulders... a more-than-memorable menu of fare was what this underground Spa had to offer. And even that might be an understatement.
After expelling a good quantity of toxins (for almost the entire afternoon), we were all relaxed and ready for a small dinner. We went to Dennis again for some wood oven pizza and some other delicacies. I must say, we all were all a bit off from the long long (long) night, so there was not much drinking involved, even to the point at which, I believe, I drank more water than wine... unheard of!!!
It was time to end this relaxed Sunday with some well-deserved rest.
The following morning was crispy and sunny, the perfect conditions for a nice trip to Montalcino, where I was expected for dinner at Roberto Cipresso's house. Before I left, we had a light (maybe it wasn't so light but surely lightER) meal at "Baita 7 Larici," a very nice restaurant in the middle of a "Larici" forest; they specialize in fish - sea, river and lake varieties, with an obviously good selection of typical plates like the Deer Ravioli, which was my choice.
It was time to hug Filippo and Elisabetta, don my sunglasses, lower the top of the car, and head toward Montalcino.
Once again, I found myself on the Adige wine trail to San Michele, where i got on the Autostrada to Verona, and then headed towards the Modena where I got on the famous "A1".
The weather was great and I think I got little burned from driving with the top down, but it was worth it. I passed Modena, land of Lambrusco, Prosciutto and Piadine, and got into the Appennini where I began the descent toward Florence. I left the A1 at the Certosa Exit in the heart of the Chianti, following the "Strada Statale" until Siena and then got on the Cassia that would bring me directly to Montalcino.
After a 4-hour drive, I've arrived at the Hotel Bellaria, were Roberto had booked a room for me. It was a nice little place: very quiet on the road to Grosseto. There was still a little sunlight, so I got back in the car and drove around to find a nice place to see the sunset. The perfect spot was few kilometers ahead of my Hotel, near Soldera wineries. The sun was orange and warm, and it was so intense that I felt like a battery under charge. The bright orange had milder reflections in the sky and the whole scene seemed an acquerello picture.
It was time to meet up with Roberto, at his house in Castelnuovo dell'Abate, for supper and to have a friendly chat.
He cooked some nice Pennette al Pesto, and drank with it a single-vinyard Falanghina from La Sibilla, full with the typical tropical flavors of Pineapple and Banana skins. We then had a great bottle of Malvasia from Miani with some cheese and cold cuts. We had a great chat about our next project: one barrique (300 bottles), with grapes selected from 3 great Brunello producers (La Fiorita, La Magia and L'Oliveto) with our own label (which I'm currently working on). We also talked about his two new big projects - La Stazione del Vino and the Wine Circus, which I visited the next day, and about life in general and how difficult is to be on the road constantly like he is. It was a great evening... it was cool to see on of the most famous winemakers in the world dealing with his two children, Matteo and "Ringhio" Giammarco, being a good father and a great host...
Sadly, it was then time to leave Roberto. He had to get up around 5 to attend a conference on Terroir in Teramo the next morning, and I had a long day of winery visits in front of me, so I got in my car and drove to the Hotel and let Morpheus take me in his soporific hands.
To Be Continued...

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