Autumn is such a beautiful season in Tuscany for so many reasons. Apart from the refreshing morning temperatures, it’s all about the Autumn harvest and in Tuscany the bounty is so generous. First, there’s the wine harvest known as the vendemmia. It’s the best time to drive through the countryside to admire the vines drooping with their abundant bunches of grapes. Take part in a grape harvest to really appreciate the work that goes into your glass of wine! Autumn also means porcini mushrooms, chestnuts, truffles and late October brings the first of the new olive oil.
We visit the lovely vineyard, Querceto di Castellina and sample some of their delicious wines. This family-run agriturismo offers every comfort – take part in a cooking class or just relax and admire the stunning views of their vineyard rising up before you.
Castellina is one of my favourite towns and local butcher, Riccardo Stiaccini has shared one of his delicious family harvest recipes featuring the vineyard grapes and his pork sausages. We also make some of Tuscany’s most traditional recipes – chestnut slice, schiacciata con l’uva, Tuscan bread soup known as Ribollita and a simple porcini mushroom salad.
One of the oldest wineries in Italy is that of Mazzei, located in Fonterutoli, a charming hamlet in the Chianti Classico region. We chat to Lorenzo Baldacci, Chef of the Osteria di Fonterutoli and well-known restauranteur, Enrico Verrecchia who in partnership with Mazzei and their Belguardo winery in Maremma have opened the Belguardo Osteria in the heart of Florence. Both men share their favourite Autumn dish on the menu, naturally paired with a wine from the Mazzei estates.
You can’t escape this year without celebrating the centenary celebrations of the famous Negroni cocktail, created in Florence by Count Camillo Negroni in 1919. Four of our favourite barmen make us their modern interpretation of this classic Florentine drink.
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