Wine buffs will know we are staying in the Chianti Classico wine region. Within a few kilometres of our local town, Gaiole in Chianti, there are over a dozen producers ranging from the very large to the very small.
On Sunday night these local wine makers, together with the restaurants of Gaiole in Chianti got together and held a wine and food festival in Gaiole – Calici di Stelle. Loosely translated that means “Glasses of Stars”. For sampling were some fine Chianti Classico wines along with a range of other wines they produce.
Our dear friend Olga was assisting with the Ciona winery stand (our villa Diaccino is on the Ciona estate) and invited us along.
It was the perfect way to spend a Sunday evening. Starting at 8pm and running to midnight the event was a chance for locals (and visitors like us) to sample the local wines and try the local food. More than that, it was clearly a chance for families and friends to spend time together and catch up.
We got to sample some very fine wines as well as chat with the wine makers. Dinner was in the form of beautiful Gnocchi, roast pork and various accompaniments.
We had a great time but sadly the jet lag kicked in around 9:30pm so we had to leave early.
Locals sampling the local vintage
Jean wandering through Gaiole looking for another wine stand
As part of our break in August we are staying a week in Chianti in Tuscany. Our dear friend Olga with her local contacts managed to find a beautiful villa for us called Il Diaccino. It is a villa located on a vineyard and olive farm and is just down the road from the village on Gaiole in Chianti.
With a pool just a short walk from the terrace and a very local vintage to sample, what more could anyone want?
Despite a rubbish summer our shared grapevine is doing well and is covered in grapes in various stages of ripening. The vine now runs the length of our boundary fence and still seems to keen stretch further.
Based on the last few years we should have many, many grapes available for friends and family in late March or early April.
One of the advantages of a long, hot and dry summer is that the country has many happy vintners. The 2013 vintage is shaping up as a cracker right across the country so if you’re a fan of New Zealand wine keep an eye out for some fabulous treats.
At our place we share a very old vine with our neighbours. Over the years it has spread it’s way down the boundary fence and now covers about half the length bringing that Italian feel from our back yard right down to the front door.
Every year it produces eating grapes and usually they are, how would you put it – sour, really sour. This year the long dry spell has been their saviour. Rich and sweet they have been a hit with our friends and rellies – so much so that friends planned a pick and run mission last weekend to clean out the last remaining bunches.
As a result, our grapes may not be up for grabs this year but any bottle of wine from New Zealand with 2013 on the label will be worth grabbing – believe me.
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