martedì 10 gennaio 2017

The excellence: Wine,Olive Oil, Cheese

Hi Guys, 

This time I would like to write about the most beautiful products we have in Tuscany, and where You can buy them in the surroundings of Borgo La Casaccia. Everyone of You know this products, and believe me, We are really talking about excellences.. So, take Your time during Your holiday to taste them.
Let's go... starting with his majesty:


One of the most requested question in my tourism's life is: "Where can we buy a good bottle of Wine?"

The answer is not easy at all.

First of all: I'm not an expert or a Sommelier (but are You sure that You can always trust in sommeliers? No, my friend), I'm simply a man that drink wine and I like it. So, "personal taste" is the word.  If every "experienced" drinker tells You that a specific wine is beautiful, but You taste it and it's awful , it's ok.  Your taste is the judge

I don't know every producers or every wineries: They are thousends;  it's part of the holiday simply to stop your car in a place that looks nice while You are driving  and try it. Often, in this way, We discover hidden places with amazing products.

From the Tourist's point of view , it's important that the experience is as more complete as possibile. This means: When You arrive, and You ring the bell, someone arrives (and You don't have to wait 20 minutes); the person who arrived speaks at least english (and not a strange mix between latin-Italian-Spanish-English); the person who arrived welcome You and offers to You a seat and so on.
So, the place must be "custumer oriented" in a right way.

Generally Speaking:
In both Supermarkets in Montaione (Pam and Coop) You find nice bottles of wine. Not a shame to buy something there , when You want to try only the product.

The range of price: between 8-30 Euro per bottle is ok. You are buying a nice (or good, or very good wine) Under 8 it's a risk, over 30 You are buying something "more" (the brand for example).

In Tuscany, we reach the maximum quality with Red Wine. Some white or rosè are unexpected good surprises, but they are more rare.

It could be a good idea give to You some explainations about the legislation in Italy about wine. So You can understand what Doc,Docg and Igt means.
In 1960s born a national regulation called DOC (Denominazione d'Origine Controllata). The aim was to create a framework and to fix some rules: quantity of grapes per acre,How and When to harvest the grapes,Storage Time, Alcohol content.  Pay attention: DOC does not mean High Quality for sure. It means that certain rules are followed.
In 1980s born a new classification: DOCG (Denominazione d'Origine Controllata e Garantita): production requirements and control conditions were made more stringent (from governement-licensed specialists)
IGT is the newest classification (Indicazione Geografica Tipica). IGT is more vague, and it embraces an universe of wine: there You can find a pleasent table wine, or a Super Tuscany renowed. No chance here, IGT wine must be drunk to understand.

The Tuscan vine harvest takes place in late September/October, and You can imagine how important it is.  Quality of wine is made by Terroir (soil conditions,Geography,grape characteristics...), a lot of sun, harvest process. The moment of the harvest is crucial. Temperature in Tuscany's Autumn is still warm and the grapes must be transported quickly to a cold cellar. the risk is the fermentation in the fields.

The other leading actor of Tuscany table is :
Olive Oil

Olive Oil si called also Liquid Gold. Not only for its color, but also because according to old Tuscan tradition, the olive picker is not remunerated in cash, but with olive oil. Like for the wine, We have a classification that is:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: the free acidity of this oil must be less than 0,8% and produced entirely by mechanical means at low temperature
Virgin Olive Oil: free acidity must be less than 2%
Olive Oil: here it is permitted the use of chemical solvents. The maximum free acidity is 1%.
The pick of olives is made at the beginning of November; tradition says: "by hand". I used to do it when I was a child. I remember this work as the hardest of my life.
Very big producers use machines that "shake" the trees, so the olives fall to the ground and are collected in a net.

I suggest to You Two places where You can taste (and buy of course) wine and olive oil:

Azienda Agricola Corbucci (15 minutes far from Borgo La Casaccia)

Via Sant'Andrea a Gavignalla 25/A
50050 Gambassi Terme (Firenze)

Azienda Agricola Tamburini Emanuela (20 minutes far from Borgo La Casaccia)

Via Catignano 106
50050 Gambassi Terme (Firenze)

From Borgo La Casaccia, before You meet Corbucci, and then Tamburini.
Don't ask me which one is the best,  because these places are really good for me. Their products are amazing but overall the experience will be great, and You will bring back home good memories, I'm sure about it.
The wine tasting is free but it's necessary to book (one day in advance is ok)

Let's go on with another "star" of the Tuscan enogastronomic panorama:


Tuscany is a green land.  While You are driving our winding roads, You will notice for sure how fields are well maintained, and how  our hills look like a painting. That's because farmers know very well that our landscape is our lucky. And in this landscape , sheeps live like kings and queens!
If You want to taste good cheese You can try:

Azienda Agricola di Camporbiano (20 minutes far from Borgo La Casaccia)
Località Camporbiano 8
50050 Gambassi Terme (Firenze)

Honestly, I'm not a man that looks only for "bio" products,  or a man that eat only "natural and healthy products"; I'm a man that sometimes like to eat in McDonald's.. You know..
But the best cheese that I ever eaten in my life, I found in Camporbiano. That cheese and that milk is amazing. The place could be really really nice also for children, because they show you the whole farm, with cows,hens, and so on, but it's absolutely necessary to book two days in advance for the visit. The shop is open and you can go there without reservation.

I hope I gave You some ideas about our enogastronomy. But don't forget to tell me when You discover other good places! I'm still learning...
Francesco Pellegrini
Owner of Borgo La Casaccia

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