booze tourism, tours

Food and wine in Switzerland, Italy, and Liechtenstein… part thirteen

Family vineyards and Montepulciano…

After we checked out of Hotel San Luca, we loaded up in Tom’s van and headed to our next destination, a beautiful family run vineyard outside of Cortona called Fabrizio Dionisio. The home is owned by a couple from Rome who work as lawyers. The beautiful young woman who took us on our tour explained that a lot of people in Rome own second homes out in the country– Tuscany, in particular. The estate where the winery is located is called “Il Castagno”, and it was originally purchased by Sergio Dionisio, Fabrizio’s father, in the early 1970s. The wines produced at this lovely winery are mostly reds made with 100% Syrah Cortona DOC grapes. The lone exception is the Rosa del Castagno, which is a rose produced with Syrah grapes. I love Syrahs, so I think this winery produced my favorite of the wines we tried… but to tell you the truth, we had so many wines, that it’s hard to keep them all straight! I should have taken notes.

I got excited during the tour, when our guide mentioned Georgia and Armenia, which are well known for using an ancient method to make wines. Wines made in the Caucasus region are often made with large earthenware vessels called Qveris (or Kvevris). I am a BIG fan of Georgian wines– and only slightly less so of Armenian wines, even though I spent two years living there. I go to Armenia for brandy, and Georgia for really nice red wines with leathery, spicy, bold flavors. Anyway, this winery in Cortona had qveris, which I thought was really interesting. Also noticeable in the winery are pieces of artwork obviously done by children. The artwork was used for the the wine labels! We got to hear the whole story about that, too. Below are some photos from our stop at Fabrizio Dionisio.

Below are some photos from the mansion’s awesome kitchen, which made me so jealous… I miss having a big kitchen, although our current kitchen is a huge improvement over the last one. This was where we tasted the wines.

After our visit to Fabrizio Dionisio, we continued on to the adorable town of Montepulciano. I love wines from Montepulciano, so this was a treat! I definitely would love to visit here again someday and go shopping. Some kind of festival was going on, which slightly complicated matters. Nevertheless, Tom knew where to park, and we had lunch at Il Pozzo, where we tasted more wines!

Finally, after lunch, we made our last stop on the tour, a winery called Talosa. This was located in the town, so we were able to walk there from Il Pozzo. I thought the winery was really interesting, with its “cave like” tasting room. I also remember liking the wines, but I especially like the guide’s Italian accent. She pronounced every English word with an “ah” at the end. It sounded very musical-ah. 😉 After we tasted wines, we visited the cellars. The smart ones also visited the toilets, since that winery was the end of our wine tour.

We immediately made our way back to Florence, where we were all to spend another night in Florence. The other couple stayed at Hotel Firenze Capitale; the lone traveler went to the airport to stay at a hotel there; and Bill and I booked a room at fantastic Hotel David. More on that in part fourteen.


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