Friday, October 25, 2013

Florence Day 2

Our first full day in Florence wasn't actually spent in the city. We had pre-paid for a full day wine tour of the Chianti region so all we had to do was show up at our appointed meeting spot to meet our tour guide and our fellow wine tasters.

I really reccomend pre-planning and pre-paying for day trips before you go anywhere on vacation. We researched the best trips for what we wanted to do and paid for them so far in advance that by the time we got to Italy, we didn't have to worry about a thing. The tour we ended up booking was with a company called Tuscan Wine Tours and was worth every penny!

We started bright and early at 10am and took a van to our first location. Our tour guide Piere was extremely knowledgeable, friendly and really funny which made being in a van with five strangers very comfortable from the get go.

At the first winery we not only got to try four delicious wines but they paired it with some pecorino cheeses that they also make on premise. The wine was incredible and after we tasted the wine we had the opportunity to buy some from their little store. We left with a steady buzz, some lardo and a jar of black truffle honey. Next stop was lunch!

We drove up some steep winding dirt roads to a hilltop town where we were having lunch at the local butcher shop. The butcher is pretty famous, having been on shows like Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations on multiple occasions and as such, wasn't there to meet us when we arrived. Ironically, he was in the States at a Slow Food convention in Los Angeles so we toured the butcher shop without meeting the "crazy butcher" Dario Cecchini. After about five minutes there we no loner cared that were weren't meeting the famous butcher and instead focused on the delectible food being set before us. The meal was comprised of, what else? Meat! Tender, juicy, fresh, grass-fed, happy cow meat.

At the end of the meal we all had grappa and coffee which just increased our buzz level to drunk and left us warm, boozed up and ready to drink more!

Our third and stop for the day was to a small independent winery run by a lovely woman who inherited the property from her father. Another flight of Chianti Classico was served outside under a pergola overlooking all her growing grape vines.

The last stop of the day was some free time in the town of Greve in Chianti. A small town full of shops, butchers, and cafes, Greve gave us a chance to walk around and explore a little bit. Matt and I wandered into a butcher shop and explored the walls of charcuterie for sale as well as their cheese cave!

By the time we had to head back onto the bus I was exhausted! I slept the entire way home. It was such a magical day that even writing this I can't believe it all actually happened. Just another day in paradise.

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