Thursday, May 30, 2013

On Sunday Afternoon

I set out on my favorite kind of trip this morning: a broad loop through the countryside on the back roads of Tuscany. It was to be a 40-mile journey—all open country—through two tiny villages, from the first hills beyond the Albegna River’s delta up to where it springs from the mountainside. After the village of Marsiliana, I turned off the narrow road onto a single lane that wasn't even on the map. I couldn't resist. The hand painted sign read Colle di Lupo. Hill of the Wolf.

Banks of wildflowers brushed against the car. With the top down, the sun and their fragrance whirled around me. I stopped here and there to photograph the scenery, bales of hay and a big white long-horned Chianina cow; to talk to a man with a sickle cutting erba medica for his rabbits; to a lady herding a big rooster across her yard; and for an orange cat lying in the middle of the road. The cat stared intently at a deep crack in the pavement; it wouldn't move. I shut off the motor and went to photograph some sheep.

I soon stumbled onto a hilltop of Etruscan ruins. From there, I had a bird’s eye view of southern Tuscany. It was almost the end of the day. 

Total distance covered: just over 3 miles.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Grilled prawns

On Tuesday and Friday mornings a family of fisherman come to our town from the coast. They set up a stand in a former cellar under Piazza Padella and we line up to buy freshly caught dentice, spigola and delicate calamari, mussels from Sardegna and vongole from Orbetello.

The best are the prawns, that we skewer, douse with fresh olive oil, chopped parsley and garlic, then roast over the coals of our kitchen fire. 

Heaven.  If life has a meaning, the taste of those prawns paired with a bottle of Ansonica from the Island of Giglio, might just be it. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wide Open Spaces

I have never seen a wide open space

as welcoming and reassuring as the heart of Tuscany. 
You can see the centuries of love that went into working this land: 
Respect for the gentle knolls, for a lone tree here, 
dense woods there, or a ditch that winds among them in the shadows. 
All that care makes you feel at home.
It is a place of great solitude but never loneliness; 
its beauty simply fills your soul.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tuscan Landscapes

Springtime. The air is fresh, clear and warm. The clouds sail on the breeze and paint the land with fleeting shadows. Few things make me feel as exuberantly alive as putting down the top of our old sports car and heading out on the winding, silent, wildflower-lined backroads through the hills of Tuscany. The roads are empty. You can stop, sit on a pasture’s edge, and with some bread, cheese and a bottle of rich red wine, gaze at the wavy fields, the tiny cops of woods, rows of olives and, here and there, an ancient stone house nestled among them. Looks like a 15th century painting. One of God’s masterpieces.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Merlot Award

Máté 2010 Merlot: the Best in Italy!

Our Máté 2010 Mantus won top honours as the number one Merlot 
in the Merlot d'Italia/Mondo Merlot 2012 competition

It's one thing to love your own wine, quite another to have it win expert acclaim. Most of you know our Brunello (scoring 95 pts) and our beloved Syrah that grows on 2,000-year-old, south-facing terraces, but now our Merlot—named "Mantus" after an Etruscan God of Wine—has won 1st prize at Italy's 10th Annual "Mondo Merlot" Awards.

We had a bottle of the 2010 Vintage last night, and it sure is easy to fall in love with. 

To Candace and Buster for their dedicated—near obsessive—work in the wine cellar, a big, heartfelt, "Salute!"

Tasting Room Radio Interview

Check out a great interview with Candace about our wines.

To listen, visit:

Wine Spectator Interview