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Join Peggy Markel as she teams up with wine professionals Laine Boswell and Bernardo Conticelli, and noted chef Piero Ferrini to introduce you to a genuine Tuscan experience. You will meet the producers of some of the regions most outstanding wines, cheeses, and olive oils, learn the secrets of local cooking traditions, and experiment with food and wine pairings. You will also have the time, in the best of Italian traditions, to savor the bounty of Tuscany around a table with family and friends.
On this culinary travel, you will stay for six nights in a country estate and cooking school on the Tuscan hills.
Mornings are spent roaming the countryside on foot to visit the bakery, or winery, or the local culinary herbalist. Back in the kitchen, you will prepare, for the days classes, one different course each day, starting with antipasti, then primo piatto, secondo piatto, e dolce (dessert) until the end of the week. Each of these comprehensive, hands-on classes will end with an exciting meal, cooked with local ingredients and local authentic techniques. Sitting down to enjoy the food and wine choices together puts a finishing touch on the day.
You will explore hill towns for tastings, as well as Florence, to visit some of its best wine and specialty food shops, and a few of the great wine bars and trattorias. You will also eat at a local and very traditional agriturismo restaurant in the countryside, where everything comes from the farm and is prepared by the family who produces it. Spend time with Laine and Bernardo to review the basics of tasting. You will discuss how to distinguish the profile of a wine based on its color, density in the glass, smell, and finally, taste.
You will also learn the various characteristics of traditional grapes of the Tuscan region: Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Colorino, Ciliegiolo (representing the traditional contingent), and Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (representing the currently admitted international contingent), among the red varietals, as well as several whites, including Trebbiano, Vernaccia, Vermentino, and Malvasia.
You will visit small and large wine growers and producers in the Chianti Classico region whose families have passed on, from generation to generation, the passion and tradition of winemaking. Learn about the history of their family properties, visit vineyards and cellars that are generally inaccessible to the public, and, of course, taste their wines. Chianti Classico is located in the true heart of Tuscan wine country, and is one of the most celebrated growing areas in all of Tuscany, Italy, and the world.
Take a walking tour through olive groves and out into the countryside to gain a better understanding of the terroir. With a local guide, you can spend a few hours identifying herbs, fruits and other plants of the region to determine their olfactory presence in the wines you taste. Visit Sienas famous Enoteca Italiana, an Italian wine museum housed in a 16th century Fortezza Medicea. You will tour the grounds and see the 1200 different wine labels that are stored in the amazing cellar underneath. After your visit, you can soak up a bit of Sienese sun with a glass of wine on the terrace.
This holiday will take place in Italy, visiting Tuscany, Florence, and Siena.
On this cooking holidays, you will be served three delightful meals per day.