Class the Monday after our Pisa and Florence trip was relatively uneventful, but we got our tests back and I got a 99, so I’m clearly well on my way to wine connoisseur status. We tasted white wines of Southern Italy in our lab, went to dinner at a local restaurant, then decided to venture to The Lion’s Well for Monday Funday. Monday Funday turned into a successful night as we finally made friends with some Italians and hitched a ride up the hill at the end of the night. Tuesday’s class and lab went about the same, but we tasted red wines of Northern Italy.
We had our second field trip on that Wednesday (the 21st) to Chianti, Arezzo, and the Il Falconiere Estate down the hill from Cortona, which was a blast! We visited the Brolio Estate in Chianti where we got to see the vineyards and learn a bit more about the terroir in their region.
We had a quick lunch stop in Arezzo where I had had a slice of pizza with hot dog and French fries as toppings, and it was actually divine. Gelato was a must, and was also one of the best cups I have had while I’ve been here. Our final stop of the day was to Il Falconiere Estate and Baracchi Winery, which was unreal. We all thought it was hilarious that the owner was wearing white Prada pants, but I guess when you own a vineyard and winery in Italy you can wear whatever you want and rock it. We visited the vineyard, the fermentation and aging rooms, and had a wine tasting.
The vineyard was beautiful, with pink and red roses at the head of each row of vines and looking out over Tuscany. While the roses are beautiful, they do serve a purpose; vineyard owners plant roses at the beginning of rows to be able to determine when phylloxera (a deadly bug to grape vines) is present. If the roses start dying, they know that the bug is present and will need to take alternate measures to protect the vines.
At the wine tasting, we had five of the best wines I have ever had. The first we had was a sparkling Sangiovese wine, and Riccardo Baracchi was apparently the first enologist to create it. This was followed by O’Lillo!, which was a crowd favorite…and only 10 euro! I rated every one of these wines as a 5 out of 5 in my wine journal, and ended up ordering a bottle of O’Lillo to send home.