I so do love Tuscany. It’s so beautiful! How can you not love looking at the sceneries like these as you drive down the road?
I never realised how much I love the countryside and I feel so completely inspired by this trip, that I wouldn’t mind going back there again on a scooter trip, like how I did to Pengerang and Malacca some years back.
We headed to a winery and olive oil maker called Fattoria le Corti which is owned by the royal Principe Corsini family.
Just a precaution, it would be best to check opening and tour hours beforehand as we only knew later that there are a lot of places that are closed on Sundays. So don’t take it for granted that places are open all the time! We were lucky that we got the chance to crash into another tour group or our journey would be for naught.
La Fattoria le Corti is a charming looking place. The tour started at 2 pm, so we had a bit of time to explore the outside.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen fuel dispensers like one below The last one that I’ve seen when I was a little girl going back to Tekong before it was taken over to become a military base.
Part of the vast vineyards that they own.
These are the two tractors that will carry the packed wines from the holding room opening, as you will see soon.
It costs 7 euro for only the tour and 12 euro for a tour and wine/olive oil taste respectively. Hema mentioned that she went to a free wine tour while she was in Australia, but found this one more comprehensive.
And in no time, the tour started proper. We joined a group of people from Holland and I was quite amazed at how they were wearing t-shirts and slippers, while I was still feeling cold, and needed my jacket.
First we were introduced area that was owned by the Corsini family.
And then we were shown the holding area where the wine will be distributed later.
My gosh, the barrels were impressively huge! I can’t imagine how much work and grapes it takes to collect to make all these wine. There were so many barrels of them.
I don’t remember what this machine is, but I reckon it’s what was used to separate the grapes from the stems.
Next we walked down the steps into the cellar where we saw loads of wooden barrels of wine resting and being fermented.
We were told that each barrel costs a lot of money! I think it was 8 hundred euro each. They use quality wood that will affect the taste of the wine and once aged, the barrels will not be used by the factory any more.
The cellar has a constant 12 – 18 degree celcius temperature and there is a water mister above which is used in case the temperature gets erratic.
Next the wine are moved into another container, to aid with the maturing process.
The wines are separated by types and at La fattoria, they specialise in Chianti Classico which uses 80% sangiovese grapes (the other 20% is either colorino or caniolo or both) 95% and 100% which is the most expensive one and is produced in very limited quantities. I think the guide said less than 100 bottles a year?
These containers are made of stainless steel
I wished that we were here somewhere end of September or October when it is grape picking time. I would have liked to see the grapes being harvested and juiced! I’m sure that would be a lot of fun!
The fermentation smell is very strong in here, and once the wine has aged for 6 months and above, they are packaged and here is where the packaging are made.
Ready to be transported all over the world!
Next is the olive oil tour. First we were shown the containers where picked olives are stored.
These huge containers were made of ceramic and was large enough for an adult to sit in comfortably.
In making olive oil, time is of the essence. Unlike wine that takes time to mature, for olive oil, the fresher the better.
These machine processes the olives into oil.
And then filters it.
And then finally weighed for packing.
Did you know that olive pits are collected to become a form of fuel?
It has a very musty smell to it.
And here is how olive oil was made traditionally!
After our tour, we got to see a view of the garden. It was gorgeous! Wouldn’t you love to wake up to a view like this?
This is the villa which is now converted into a bed and breakfast.
I wished I had worn something prettier to fit in the scenery.
At the end of the tour, we went upstairs to the dining area and got to get a taste of their wine and oil. Here are the types of wines that was sampled.
This is the cortevecchia which takes 20 months of ageing in the barrel.
This is the Don Tomasso which is aged for 15 months in the barrel.
And this is Le Corti which is aged for 12 months.
Since Cart and I don’t drink, I have no idea how these wine tastes like or appreciate them. Nevertheless, my friend looks very pleased with herself.
Cart and I tried their olive oil instead. There were two types – on the left is the Le corti extra virgin olive oil where the olives were hand picked and pressed within 12 hours. The one on the right is the organic one which is hand picked and pressed within 7 hours. It has won 3 olive slow food award in 2010.
We tried them both with Tuscan bread – which as you know by now, is tasteless since no salt is added to it.
It’s hard to see in the pictures, but the organic one has a darker colour.
I thought the organic one was amazing! It was intense and rich. Think of the best olive oil that you’ve ever had and imagine the taste more refined and pure by ten folds. And for some reason, when you taste it, the scent comes right out of my nose. Sort of like the wasabi effect without the heat. It was most peculiar. I told this to Cart and he said that this was the mark of high quality olive oil.
We immediately bought a bottle for ourselves after this. And that was the end of our little tour! While I don’t drink, I thought that the tour was interesting and I liked learning new things.
Tuscany is such a very pretty looking place.
And of course, being springtime, a lot of flowers are starting to bloom, making the place look so magical – like a page out of a fairy tale.
I’m surrounded by so much beauty!