May 24, 2013

La Pietriccia Agritourismo

By In Photographs, Reviews
He wouldn’t let the men near the sausage casing machine. In broken English me muttered something about the women having that ‘special touch’. Cranking the handle he shot the meat mixture (beef, herbs and seasoning pummelled together rather expertly by myself) with some force to the waiting pigs-casing massaged, somewhat expertly, by Sian. You could see his point.

Stefano is a big bear of a man. Talented too. In addition to the family run bread and breakfast (aka Agritourismo) he is an acknowledged expert and tutor in olive oil (making his own from a hectare of olive trees), a winemaker (turning the yearly harvest from a hectare of Sangiovese vines into a rustic red), and chef (specialising in using local seasonal ingredients). He also possesses a wicked sense of humour; hence the specific hand action required in making the sausages.

We made tonnes. A quantity that fed our ravenous party, the rest of that evenings restaurant patrons and I expect those for several days after. During the cooking course fresh pasta was also made, a dessert and a starter too, although our lowly skills were quickly assessed and assisted by Stefano. A fun hour or so.

Stefano

The cooking lesson made for a fun finale to the stay at the La Pietriccia Agritourismo. Lashings of that rustic Chianti washing down sausages and pasta a like. A tour earlier had Stefano show us the tiny cellar where the smallest stainless steel tanks I’ve ever seen held that years produce and a cool store room held his prized collection of Vino Santo vintages. One particularly dark wine, with a level way below the bottles neck, was proudly extracted from the wooden rack. A rambling discourse resulted as Stefan near-caressed the bottle with love. Apparently pre-war although I lost in his speech which specific war…

A wooded path leads round the estate, past a well-horned goat who made it known whose territory this was, and a noisy goose who also demonstrated his mastery of his domain. Apple trees were holding on to the last of the blossom, Olive trees, a vegetable patch all clearly showing that this is a working farm… Heavy rains a week prior had led to the bottom stream bursting its banks. No vines planted down here for obvious reasons but looking through the viewfinder rather than where my feet were going led to sodden shoes…

La Pietriccia Agritourismo in Chianciano Terme is used as a base for the G Adventures Local Living holiday. The cooking lesson is part of the package as is a wine tasting, a cycle ride and visits to various local towns.

Photo Gallery: La Pietriccia Agritoursimo, Tuscany

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