Tuscan Gastronomy and Slow Food

October 27, 2016  |  Food & Wine, Hotel  |  Comments Off on Tuscan Gastronomy and Slow Food
Villa le Barone , Tuscany   the restaurant

Villa le Barone , Tuscany the restaurant

Do you wish to discover the “Slow Food” and Tuscan Gastronomy in Chianti, one of the most beautiful part of Tuscany? Tuscany is indeed one of the largest region of Italy with a great diversity of territories which have different cultures and culinary traditions. Villa le Barone‘s cooks, Alessio and Tommaso, born in Greve in Chianti, the city where the “Slow Food” originated, will unveil for you this type of cuisine.

Wine, olive oil, and bread are the 3 key elements of Tuscan cuisine. Food is simple, made with fresh, local and seasonal products, and are therefore so tasty! If you stay at Villa le Barone you will be able to see in our garden eggplants, zucchinis, tomatoes, salads, artichokes… The sage, rosemary, thyme, basil are also growing there and are perfuming the dishes served in the restaurant! All dishes, including deserts, are prepared by our cooks! Try the “tiramisu” or the “amaretto”! This is “slow food” as opposed to “fast food”!
In summer, you will savor your dinner on the terrace surrounded by the hydrangeas, the honeysuckle and the wisteria. If you wish to enjoy a romantic dinner with a beautiful sunset, it can be served alone together on the heart terrace. But, if the weather does not allow to be outside, the restaurant will welcome you with its superb paintings, chandeliers, and ceramics!

Villa le Barone' tuscan cooks Alessio e Tommaso

Villa le Barone’ s tuscan cooks Alessio e Tommaso

If you wish to have an amazing “hands on” cooking class, our Tuscan cook Alessio will be pleased to teach you how to make a full Tuscan meal …that you will eat afterwards. You will also get all the recipes and be able to invite your friends at home to enjoy a Tuscan dinner!
Enjoy Tuscan specialties, slow food, and Tuscan gastronomy at Villa le Barone!

Sustainable Viticulture in Panzano in Chianti

September 16, 2016  |  Food & Wine  |  Comments Off on Sustainable Viticulture in Panzano in Chianti
Villa le Barone : Preparing for the shooting by  Photographer Michael Somoroff

Villa le Barone : Preparing for the shooting by Photographer Michael Somoroff

Since 2005 ,the Panzano in Chianti ‘s vintners have join forces to put into practice a sustainable viticulture, producing healthier wines without chemical residues , and therefore bringing benefits for the consumers, for the environment , and from a social point . Villa le Barone has on its wine list the best wines produced by Panzano ‘s vintners!

In 2005, 19 vintners of Panzano in Chianti joined forces to create a free and independent group to exchange experiences, and develop common projects and initiatives. They have common values, which Villa le Barone also shares: the love for the territory, Panzano, the passion for their work, the commitment to a continuous quest for quality. Each of the vintner and wine makers are making wine with their own grapes and run their winery directly. It is a wine that incorporates in its taste and aroma the characteristics of the territory where it grows, and this makes it unique! It is impossible to reproduce this wine in other parts of the world!

Panzano in Chianti: decor by Luca Carfagna for the Wine Festival Vino al Vino

Panzano in Chianti: decor by Luca Carfagna for the Wine Festival Vino al Vino

The Panzano ‘s vintners have now created the Experimental Research station for Sustainable Viticulture (SPEVIS, Stazione Sperimentale for Sustainable Viticulture) to help wineries to adopt organic methods . The objective is to make Panzano the first Italian organic zone, respectful of the territory, where no synthetic chemicals are being used. Everyone gains from this approach: the consumers, who will enjoy a better wine, the local environment, with less pollution for the soil and for the underground water, the local people, and the workers.
Guests of Villa le Barone will find on our wine list those wonderful wines produced in Panzano, and Giulia, our head waitress, will be most pleased to help them in choosing the best wine to fit the excellent dishes prepared by Alessio our Tuscan chef, with the help of Tommaso.

Chianti Wines Festivals 2016

August 22, 2016  |  Food & Wine  |  Comments Off on Chianti Wines Festivals 2016
Chianti Wine Festival in Panzano

Chianti Wine Festival in Panzano

The 2016 Chianti wines festivals around Villa le Barone are approaching.

They are held from September 8 to 11 in Greve in Chianti and from 15 to 18 September in Panzano in Chianti: buy a drink that you can store in memory, evaluate all Chianti Classico presented by the producers and walk back to Villa le Barone. To help you know these wines and prepare you for tastings, here is a quiz that will entertain you, hopefully!

  1. The Chianti is a wine from
    • Umbria
    • Emilia -Romagna
    • Tuscany
  2. The first rules defining the Chianti Classico were fixed by
    • Barone Ricasoli
    • Marchese Antinori
    • Marchese Mazzei
  3. A Chianti Classico wine must contain a minimum Sangiovese varietal percentage:
    • 60%
    •  70%
    • 80%
  4. The remaining 20% ​​may be varieties such as:
    • Canaiolo
    • Colorino
    • Other
  5. The symbol of the Chianti Classico wine is the:
    • Black Rooster
    • White Rooster
    • Black Horse
  6. The Chianti Classico appellation is a:
    • DOCG (Denomination of Origin of Controlled and Guaranteed
    • DOP (Protected Designation of Origin)
    • IGT Indicazione Geografica Tipica
  7. The Chianti Classico Riserva has:
    • More than 2 years of age
    • Over 3 years old
    • Over 4 years of age
  8. A Super Tuscan wine is:
    • A red wine that does not follow Chianti Classico production regulations and which may include varieties such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah
    • An IGT high quality wine
    • Both
Chianti Wine Festival in Greve

Chianti Wine Festival in Greve

Responses

  1. Tuscany
  2.  The first rules of the Chianti Classico composition were established by Baron Ricasoli, Prime Minister of Italy in the 19th century.
  3.  80%
  4.  3 varieties can be found in the Chianti Classico
  5. Black Rooster
  6. The Chianti Classico is a DOCG wine. There were 73 DOCG in 2014 in Italy and 332 DOCs
  7. The Chianti Riserva is kept three years in oak barrels before bottling
  8. Super Tuscans are IGT quality wines but do not follow the rules of composition of the Chianti Classico

“Slow Food” and “Slow Made” in Tuscany

June 7, 2016  |  Food & Wine, Hotel  |  Comments Off on “Slow Food” and “Slow Made” in Tuscany
The restaurant and its hand made chandelier at Villa le Barone

The restaurant and its hand made chandelier at Villa le Barone

‘Slow Food’ and ‘Slow Made’ are part of the same philosophy, put into practice by the boutique Hotel Villa Barone in Tuscany.

The movement ‘Slow Food’, launched in early 1980 in Greve in Chianti in opposition to the ‘Fast Food’, aims to bring a new perspective on food, agriculture and gastronomy. Recently launched, the movement ‘Slow Made’ is specifically aiming at crafts and creation. It advocates quality in the production processes, taking the necessary time … and respecting the environment.

In the wake of the Slow Food movement in Tuscany 30 years ago, many other movements of the Slow philosophy have emerged. Among them the ‘Slow Made’, recently founded in France, proposes to rethink how to produce. Slow Made opposes the throwaway consumption model to a more sustainable model, producing less but better. According to Marc Bayard, cultural and scientific advisor at the French ‘Mobilier National’, one of the missions of the Slow Made is to raise consumer awareness on the implications and impacts of consumption. It is certainly preferable to buy items that are more expensive but more durable and even transferable. Slow Made seeks to divert customers from mass consumption and to develop a network of small craft enterprises rooted in the territories. Slow Made products are now largely reserved for a small numbers of consumers, but this number is increasing. And if we take the example of biological products coming from organic agriculture, a few years ago, due to their cost, only a certain class of consumers were buying them. Today they have entered the daily life of thousands of producers and consumers. No doubt therefore the Slow Made will have the same bright future!

Hand made by Tole style  for  Villa le Barone

Hand made by Tole style for Villa le Barone

Historically, craftsmen have always been appreciated for the quality of their work and their creativity. But their work requires patience and skill, combining innovation and tradition, while using the new tools and new materials available to us.

Hotel Villa le Barone puts it into practice the Slow Made philosophy and works with many Tuscan craftsmen. It wishes to specifically recognize Luciano and Marcello Capelli in Greve in Chianti, who, among others, made the chandeliers in the restaurant, Mauro Iandelli, decorator upholsterer, My Light, who made by hand the luminaires for the restaurant terrace, Leonardo Becucci who makes our lampshades, Tole Style who did bedside lamps in painted metal, using a French original technique of the XVIII century. Villa le Barone will be happy to give the contacts of all those Tuscan craftsmen, proud representatives the Slow Made philosophy.

Extra virgin olive oil at Villa le Barone

November 21, 2015  |  Food & Wine  |  Comments Off on Extra virgin olive oil at Villa le Barone
 Olive harvest at Villa le Barone  Chianti

Olive harvest at Villa le Barone Chianti

2015 has been a wonderful olive harvest at Villa le Barone, with a high quality production of our own extra virgin olive oil, first pressure!

What a treat is a little bit of olive oil on a slice of toasted Tuscan bread, or a simple recipe of Mediterranean cooking prepared with this exquisite natural product, known for its flavor but also for its health benefits! Villa le Barone’s guests will enjoy it in 2016!

After having seen tractors on the roads of Chianti and Tuscany pulling carts overflowing with grapes, it is now carts with boxes full of olives that can be seen hauling their loads to the olive oil mill. This year, after a very bad one in 2014, the harvest is superb, the olives are beautiful and the oil is of excellent quality, with a beautiful green color and a subtle aroma.

Villa le Barone produces its own oil: the olives have been picked up on the tree, by hand or, sometimes, with the help of a small device called a “comb buzzer”.
The olives have been immediately taken to the ‘Frantoio’ (oil mill) in Panzano, just below Villa le Barone, which has resumed its activity after a sleep of several months. Each of the boxes has been labeled with the name of Villa le Barone so as to identify the oil produced with our olives to be given back to us a few hours later.

Panzano in Chianti: Extra virgin olive oil production

Panzano in Chianti: Extra virgin olive oil production

 

As for wine, there are different types of olive oils, each of which with a subtle difference of flavor, depending on the olive trees species and the soil on which they are growing. As for wine, olive oil tastings are also organized.

Olive oil is in the genes of Tuscan people and there is always a festive activity going on at the olive mill. Producing olive oil is really at the heart of Italian traditions! The olives are washed, then are crushed, separated from their stone, kneaded and the pulp obtained is then centrifuged to separate the water from the oil, which comes out ready for consumption. Nowadays automated equipment is used, but the process is identical to the one in use since the Etruscans! These traditional techniques allow to obtain a high quality product, extra virgin olive oil, first pressure, DOP (“Denominazione di Origine Protetta ). Furthermore, at Villa le Barone, our oil has the eco-label “Agriqualità” because we do not use pesticides!

It is this delicate oil, with fruity aromas, that we use lavishly at Villa le Barone, Chianti and that guests will be able to enjoy in 2016. A little oil on a small slice of bread, what a treat! A “bruschetta” prepared with tasty tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil, what a delight!