La Rufina: Trebbio Castle and Lavacchio Farm

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La Rufina: Trebbio Castle

At Castle of Trebbio, from where came Pazzi family, who in 1400 tried without success to proscribe the Medici family from Florence, Alberto Peroni, Market Manager, is our guide. Alberto is a fine and clever confabulator, with an excellent command of English language, Florentine history, psychology of people coming. Inside the castle, very basic but elegant furniture and historically refined, hearing the Alberto tales: history, politics and economic relations between Pazzi and Medici families, with grudges, murders, revenges sometimes trivial and sometimes refined.

Not less fascinating is the story, told by him, of the family that owns the castle today, how they met and fell in love, and so on. From the wall on the left I feel the sweet look of the beautiful and insistent Giardiniera from the studio of Raffaello.

Visiting cellars, on a stone arch, there is a beautiful sentence in French:

"Il faut vider le vieux tonneau

Pour faire place au vin nouveau. "

A motto that invites to trade, to sale and to pleasure of the wines when ready, perhaps leaving them to age in the bottle, if necessary.

The company uses only Sangiovese, no Cabernet, no Merlot.

Half a million bottles of Chianti, the only red, and four types of white: Chardonnay, Trebbiano, Riesling and Pinot Gris come from the cellar. Alberto shows us a new room that will host the pupitres for their first production of sparkling wines.

We go up on the ground floor, in a large living room to taste three wines:
Castignano Bianco di Toscana IGT 2011 (Chardonnay and Trebbiano) 82 points.
Castello del Trebbio Chianti Rufina DOCG 2011 (Sangiovese plus 5% Colorino) 84. Castello del Trebbio Lastricato Chianti Rufina DOCG Riserva 2008 (100% Sangiovese) 86.

Top of a wood wine box

During the tasting, the owner Anna Baj Macario comes to show us and let us smell their saffron pistils, which are thin dark red, dried in the heat of a stove, and even the original flowers, freshly picked by herself from the soil where they grow.

Before lunch we stop to visit, on the way to the restaurant, their “Mori” oil mill that is just grinding some of the olives ready for pressing. I taste the green juice that comes down from the spout end, it is still murky but also clean and nicely fruity with a bitter and spicy note in the nose and mouth.

We have lunch at Sosta del Gusto Restaurant, attached to the Trebbio Castle, a long room with a beautiful ample arch.

We begin with a grilled mozzarella dish with black olives, a nice taste, really "Tuscan".

Delicious and also typical the chestnut flan with cauliflower puree and pork confit, served with Chianti Castello del Trebbio 2011.

Then we have tortelli filled with ricotta cheese, with pumpkin sauce and black cabbage pesto: delicious, soft and tasty.

We continue with great crepes with potatoes and leeks on zolfini beans and then the strips of spinach with wild boar sauce, absolutely not bad. Finally, the Crème brûlée with vanilla, amazing and perfect.

The chef Claudio Vignali is young but really good because it manages to combine seasonal and local products in an original way without distorting the plate and keeping the tastiness of tradition.

La Rufina: Lavacchio Farm: 
We arrive at the old mill complex when the sun is setting down. The lights are already fainter.

The blades of the windmill rise majestically and tired, with their webs torn and jaded by the rotations in the wind, but the charm of this construction is always unique, because with a little 'fantasy’ you feel transported to the Spain of Don Quixote or among 'Holland’ tulips, almost on the seashore. We only need to pull a bit 'of wind and do whatever you like to travel by thought.

Lavacchio Farm: the windmill

We are welcomed by Giuseppe Tedesco. Inside the mill Giuseppe tells the story of the reconstruction that the Lottero family, the owners, made when they acquired this property.

In front of the mill, across the street, go down to the restaurant, with a beautiful veranda with a view to west. At this time the glass is all red because the sun is setting and enlightens it, you would want to sit on the chairs to sip a good hot drink.

Go up the hill on foot and reach the farm, with 22 apartments for tourists, about seventy beds. The atmosphere is rustic and warm, simple but comfortable and suitable for all budgets.

Higher still, on the hill, visit the Laboratory of ceramic by Stefano Innocenti. He is not there, at this time, but we think mom Victoria could show her work, her stories of Pinocchio, dressed in rings of white and colored chalk, and then vessels, dishes, beautiful creations . Stefano has learned the craft from Romano, his father and recently was awarded in the United States for his works.

Pinocchio's style ceramics by Stefano Innocenti

We go up a little more to the villa for a visit to the cellars. Cement, steel and wood are the elements in which the wines are aged in Lavacchio. In the deepest caves there are the big barrels of 35 hectoliters.

Back to the serving room to taste a sample of five wines prepared by Giuseppe, rated from 85 to 90, absolutely excellents:

Packar, Toscana IGT 2011 (80% Chardonnay, 20% Sauvignon, Viognier) 88 points.

Fontegalli, Toscana IGT 2004 (40% Cabernet, 40% Merlot, 20% Sangiovese) 87.

Cedro, Chianti Rufina DOCG 2009 (85%Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo, Cerasuolo) 85.

Oro del Cedro, Toscana IGT 2010 (00% Gewürztraminer) 88.

Vin Santo Chianti Rufina Riserva DOC 2007 (Trebbiano Malvasia) 90, the top of the great wines of this beautiful Tuscan company that Faye and her family offer their many admirers.

Lavacchio Farm - Casabella Building

Returning to Florence I decide to take a stroll through the streets of downtown to observe the nightlife of Florence, people is dismantling stalls, shops are closing and taverns and restaurants and bars are ready for the evening. We are part of a flow made of international tourists and professionals.

Photo credits:  Gabriella Repetto

Post submitted by Luigi Bellucci

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