Saturday, August 21, 2010

Chianti Tour

We decided to pay for a tour to the Chianti region instead of trying to find our way around ourselves. I think that for touring a winery we would need a car to get to one in the first place. It cost about 150euro for the 4 of us, we were willing to pay for this to have a tour guide and to spend some time with other tourists. The tour started at 2pm and ended at 7pm.

We first met a couple of Australian girls from Melbourne with Italian parents, they said they have been speaking English everywhere and becoming very slack with their Italian. It was fun talking with the girls (especially for me).

At the winery we sat a table with 3 Canadians, a couple from Winnipeg and a guy from Montreal they didn’t know each other came from the same country.

The boys went outside while we did some wine tasting and met a little French girl (Leeza), her Father and Mother translated for them, she was so cute. Levi and Leeza tickled each other with peacock feathers for ages.

There was an older couple from Perth who had been living in Chicago USA for the last 8 years (slight accent) they were very excited to meet with other Aussies here. They told us they have been a bit disappointed with the Italian food here. ( I will write something on food later for all you foodies).
Then I met a guy from Texas while waiting for the boys outside the bathroom, it is always hilarious when they ask you about where you live and they have absolutely no idea ( a little frustrating too ). It is particularly funny when the boys get all chatty about the animals we have in Australia especially the sharks… “you swim with sharks!?! Oh!!!” ROFL (roll on floor laughing).

The winery was beautiful and green and luscious, Quercato winery is about 500 years old and has been owned by the current family since late 1800s. They grow 2 types of grapes; giovanese(Italian) and cabernet(French) and they also grow olives for Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Chianti only produce red wines and they have rules for them: Top shelf must have 80% giovanese grapes in it, it actually didn’t taste too bad for a red wine, very smooth and tasted quite grapey.

The olive oil also has rules: the extra virgin olive oil is the best it must have olives that have been pressed within 20hours of being picked. The virgin olive oil is up to 24 hours and the other oils they said they would only use for the cars J. They basically said that if it isn’t Extra Virgin Olive Oil then don’t use it.

All bottles of Chianti wine have a picture of a black rooster on the bottle, there is a legend behind this picture:
There was a war going on between Florence and Siena over who owned the Chianti region between the two cities. They decided to have a race for the land. The idea was for each city to send out a knight to race towards the other city, where they met up that would be the boundary line. Each knight would have to wait for the cock to crow then race out. Well the Florentines did not feed their rooster the night before and he woke up very early and gave the Florentine knight a very good head start, He almost claimed the entire Chianti region. ( The Florentines say that the black rooster is a sign of “cleverness” for them, for the Sienans it is a sign of the Florentines having an unfair advantage).
Just a little story telling for you, they do not know if the legend is true or not but it can cause fights still between the cities.

After the winery we drove on very windy roads ( I was feeling it blah) to Greve in Chianti and beautiful little romantic town, with gorgeous little streets. We only had 50 minutes to roam around, so I went to the markets for inspiration when I arrive back home. Of course we were the last ones back on the bus.

We arrived back in Florence at 7pm a little tired. I just love that it is still daylight at that time. I love daylight savings.

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