People say if you get to Tuscany, do not- repeat: do not- miss visiting San Gimignano, called the most perfectly preserved medieval Italian city. It’s not just the towers that have made the city famous; the entire city is an uncanny flashback in time. You actually expect to see people in medieval garb peeking from their windows, except that the hordes of tourists bring you back to reality. Still, all of us are very glad this was on our itinerary this morning.
Then we headed into the entrails of the San Gimignano countryside. We were advised not to travel in a big bus which would never negotiate the very narrow dirt roads. So 18 of us were on a 25 seat bus that made the trip to Montenidoli Winery without a problem.
This biological winery owned by the singular personality of Maria Elisabetta Fagiuoli for over 30 years produces outstanding wines and during our lunch we had all of their great wines including their 3 bicchieri winners. Here is the menu that was prepared by the winery staff: Fiore ’10 Vernaccia di San Gimignano as an aperitif; Vegetable pie with anchovies with Vinbrusco ’09 Toscano Bianco; Spaghetti in fresh tomato sauce with Il Garrulo ’09 Chianti Colli Senesi; Venison and pork sausage with polenta with Sono Montenidoli ’04 IGT; Selection of cheese and apple pie with gelato with Carato ’07 Vernaccia.
Vernaccia can produce a wonderful white wine with good acidity and expressions of terroir; it’s worth checking out. The Fiore is my favorite and is what Vernaccia is all about. The Carato is Montenidoli’s expression of what some oak aging can add to Vernaccia. It is not at all typical and is original and will appeal to wine lovers who like what oak can add. Both whites have very good aging potential.
We ended a superb day in Tuscany with a guided tour of the Etruscan town of Volterra, noted for its alabaster artisans and its Roman ruins.
Tomorrow it’s Montepulciano.