Grape harvest in Chianti

July 4, 2012  |  Food & Wine

Chianti Classico wine and pecorino cheese, typical tuscan products, go well together…Villa le Barone, located in the heart of the Chianti region, is the best place to enjoy grape harvestining in September. From the pool of the small charming hotel Villa le Barone, you will enjoy wonderful views on the surrounding Chianti  vineyards.

Mid morning July sun is shining, the dip in the pool has been refreshing, the view on the Chianti vineyards is beautiful, I just finished a chapter of my thriller … and I feel a bit hungry!  How about a bite of aged Pecorino cheese? (“pecora” means sheep)  … Yes! Definitely! … but with a glass of Chianti Classico!  While I bite a morsel of this delicious cheese and take a sip of Chianti Classico I cannot help but think that grape harvest in Chianti in mid-September is just around the corner and that Panzano is the beating heart of the Chianti Classico wines: Fontodi, Molino di Grace, Cafaggio, Le Fonti, Riseccoli, Rampolla, Cavalli, … are all small, family owned and operated high quality wineries surrounding Villa le Barone and sharing a territory where vines (mainly Sangiovese grapes) grow  at an altitude of 350 meters above sea level, surrounded by forests and on a soil of a high rock content – in part shale (Galestro), in part limestone (Alberese). The resulting wines have character, smoothness and elegance after having slowly and carefully aged and matured in large casks or in barriques, both made of high quality oak wood, for a period and in a fashion depending on the choice of each winery.  I am now a wine specialist because Villa le Barone has organized a wine tasting for me yesterday!

Is wine alcohol?  Yes and no! In Italy, wine is a way of life and culture! It is considered to be a regular part of everyday life, so no special circumstances are needed to bring this drink out. It is an enduring cultural symbol of living.

Since the times of the Etruscans and the Romans, role of wine has evolved over time, changing from a source of nutrition to a cultural complement to food and conviviality compatible with a healthy lifestyle. The art of viticulture has also evolved, but one principle that has remained unchanged is the Italian tradition of presenting and communicating wine, which focuses on the origins, heritage and viniculture. Wine therefore tends to be associated with gastronomy, history, local quality products and dignified social settings. Moderate consumption and quality of choice remains the general norm.

The taste of Pecorino cheese and Chianti Classico wine has operated its magic, my brain is generating pleasant thoughts, my body is soaking in the warm sun, my eyelids tend to close, I feel at peace and relaxed in the small country Hotel Villa le Barone, in the middle of the Chianti vineyards!


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