Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Food Lovers Tour

Today was no Cooking day and from the early morning we left for a full day trip.

First thing we stopped at Arezzo which has a charming medieval historical center. One of the main attractions is Basilica of San Francesco (13th-14th centuries), built in Tuscan-Gothic style, with massive fresco the History of the True Cross (1453–1464) cycle by Piero della Francesca in the Bacci Chapel. The fresco is stinning and must see!

Villa La Ripa
Next stop was a Wine tasting. Not a traditional place. A current owner (Saverio Luzzi) bought a Villa with a 100 years old wineyard in 1998.. and was not planning to get into wine making. 7 years later, he was planning to get rid of the wineyards while one of most famous Tuscany wine makers made him an offer - he asked Saverio to give a grapes a chance: he would help him to grow and harvest the grapes and make a wine. If it would be not good - he can destroy it.. 

The wine turned to be a great one, having Silver and Gold awards! The secret lies 1) in the sole - the grounds of the area have sulphur - which adds and preserves the wine flavour and 2) the fact that they have only 1,5 hectares of the wineyards, which allows them to harves a grapes in 1 day. Selecting a right day is said to be extreamly important for the tannin (sugar and acid) levels.

The Red wine ( 50% Sangiovese + 50% Cabarnet Sauvignon) was absolutely awesome and appreciated by all of us.

Ravagni (since 1421) - Olive oil & lunch by "Italian mama"

Next stop was at an Old small Olive oil manufacturer - Francessco, the current owner, who took it over from his Dad, Dad took from his Dad and etc. The process appeard to be extreamly simple - mash the olives with a mill, get all purre on mats, put under press - and you get the Oil with water, centrifuge it and it's all done. People usually come at November, pick the olives and press the oil themselves. Should be fun!

It was interesting to know, that the first drippings of the Oil (before pressing) are called "Most of Oil" and it has much more fresh taste.

(In picture is Francessco at the Oil press)

Then we were invited to his Family (Mom, Dad, Sis, Aunt and etc..) house for lunch. It was realy very Italian domestic place. A Dad (79) came out at the end of the Linch with home made grappa and sang us some Italian songs - that was pretty fun :)

Anghiari - the Textile manufacturing

Then we shortly stopped at another beautifull medieval town Anghiari (there is a famous - currently lost - Leonardo Da Vinci painting "The Battle of Anghiari") and stopped at the Textile manufacturer, to watch the old machines still making a textiles.. I watched and watched and couldn't figure out how it works with these "perfocards"..(need to google one day)

Last stop was to have a look at a Goats and taste some cheese.. We were shown the milking process - I even tried myself (the only one who dared to do that).. then patted a nice baby goats.. and tried a very Fresh Ricotta and some other nice cheese.
...unfortunatelly the camera went dead..so cannot show any of the moments. Will add later, when get some photos from the other guys.

We all slept in the bus on the way back ... day was long... and were so happy to get only a light dinner - The Minestrone that I made with Rose on Sunday (Paola said that Minestrone needs to rest before being eaten), Tomatoe and mocarella salad and a Panacota (made by Ronald) - I was lucky and got 1,5 of them... it was perfect! 

..I couldn't imagine people being so happy about finishind a Dinner at 9pm.. there were clapping around the table :)) (just to give a background - First night we finished at midnight!, next day at 23.30, then at 22.30... and the eating/drinking is soo exhausting..who could ever imagine)


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