August 03, 2017
If you want to experience a real 'tuscan life' you must certainly deal with wine and oil!This can be about the whole italy, but Tuscany is a very important region for these 2 products.. and them both flows in my veins !
I can't imagine a life without olive oil (not joking nor exagerating !! In our reipes we often don't specify the use of olive oil, because it is the base for almost everything!), but I lived long without drinking wine,it is about my 24th birthday that I started to appreciate it since nowadays when I drink wine every evening.
It is a refined way to match your meals, with its different aspects arriving to your tongue one by one, maybe a stronger one, a fruit taste and a light ending. It depends on the type of course, and especially on the origins.
The same grapes can give cheap or expensive bottles, it all depends on the philosophy of the farm and the way and times they are collected. Of course increasing care and selection will give some of the best wines in the world when you cultivate in Tuscany.
So when you reach this region of Italy, the Maremma, if I were you I would take advantage of the location to visit a farm -there are many farms all over- and so I did (very late in my life I know..but when things are closer or easier you feel very excused for procrastinating !!).My very first visit to a farm has been in Rocca di Montemassi, (and you must know that it is part of a larger trade named Zonin1821, maybe you heard of it).
This place is right under the little village of Montemassi.When you reach the farm, you can spot the village up on a hill and recognize the exactly shape of the logo of this farm!! (check the picture, you can spot itjust under the signal)In order to give you an idea about the location: it takes 2 hours drive from Florence, so the best would be to take some time to visit the whole area of Maremma and stop here in Montemassi along the way. If you need some ideas about what to do in Maremma check this article “A week-end in Maremma”: https://www.meandtuscany.com/blogs/news/what-to-visit-in-a-week-end-in-maremma[Recomandation: you'd better call before your arrival, and you can find the opening hours for visiting at the end of this article or at the following link http://www.roccadimontemassi.it/ospitalita/accoglienza ]Visiting the farm
Say hi to Alioscia, the hospitality manager who has an endless knowledge about wine, farming, and old tuscan habits and it will be a pleasure to be driven through such a romantic territory with typical white cows on a side and endless vineyards on the other.We had the first stop at the paddock of the Vacca Maremmana this special breed of cows you can see in the pictures.These animals have been living and especially working side by side with people, but despite the history, their strong personality always leads them to the 'call of their nature' , they never really peacefully 'obey'.
Dealing with these cows isn't that easy, and it can be dangerous to step next to them as they can use very well their horns. Although this doesen't look like a good portraiting to me it sounds just so good; I am a fan of strong personalities, even better when it is about the spontaneousness in nature. I loved these huge, passionate, rebel, white animals, their shape in the sunset is so refined and mystical, and make them part of the territory just like a hill or a tree.
To collect the Vacca Maremmana, here in Maremma there is a special figure called Buttero (butteri when it's plural) and it is actually the 'Cowboy of Maremma' , running back and forth in order to guide the herd where it should go.It is a very ancient figure and nowadays there is a very low number of Butteri.When in this farm we had the chance to see them working .. and it had goose bumps !!
You should see how they scream 'và 'n lààà' ('vai in là' in italian) a folk and dialectical way to say 'go there'. It reminded me of the ancestral calls of the sheperds, talking to their dogs guiding the sheeps. Man and animals has a special level where they can understand each other, far from fairy-tales and idilliac imaginary; they communicate with blood, and belly, and body, and old deep sounds belonging to a past which created the earth they are stepping on.Don't need to say that our welcome started and ended with wine wine and wine, red, white and rosè.Walking along the lines of vineyards and listening to the story of european wine, of how it changed, noticing all the techniques for watering, how to tie the branches and what's behind every single choice giving the final aspects to these fields, and flavour to the wine.Meeting the Rocca di Montemassi to me has been like a welcome back from a world in deep connection with the XIX century just the same I already know thanks to the childhood tales of my grandfather, whose family belong to Tuscany since more than 600 years. This was not 'only a farm', this is a 430 ectars farm where to experience the taste of authentic Tuscany in Maremma.If I weren't invited here I would have never known that such a visit is possible for free and for everyone, and I am happy to share this news, so that others to may will have a chance of a nice and relaxed afternoon under the tuscan sun.
Here below I left some informations which can be usefull for visiting the Rocca di Montemassi. Free VisitGuided tour to the Winery, Vineyards and Museum of Civilization.Languages: italian, english, french or german.Summer opening hours: monady 10am -12.30pm tuesday to saturday from10am to 7pmWinter opening hours:monday to friday from 10am to 18 pm Sunday and holidays : only with reservationContactsinfo@roccadimontemassi.itphone: (IT 0039) 0564-579700Website
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October 20, 2019
Peacefull observer of sunrise and lands waking up. Counting the grapes in the vineyards; saying hi to the animals running down below, having sneak peak in farms and villa like only a bird would do.
All this is Tuscany from a hot-air balloon. The very best way to overlook this amazing land!
September 22, 2019
An accurate description of my latest choices regarding Florence's Typical Restaurants!
In summer 2019 I discovered Trattoria Il Trebbio and Osteria Belle Donne a few steps away from Florence main train station in full city center.
August 13, 2019