My husband and I recently took a spectacular trip to Italy and visited some amazing regions, rich in cultures and traditions. One of our destinations was Tuscany and we were living our dream of “La Dolce Vita” (the sweet life). We were blown away by the beauty of the rolling hills and the lush cypress trees. Finally, all the landscape pictures we had seen were coming to life and the views were similar to that of a postcard. On the first day, we got to visit this beautiful winery called: Fattoria di Montemaggio, located in Radda in Chianti in the heart of Chianti Classico region. It’s truly magical with a stupendous view of the valley, and well-manicured grounds. There were full-blown roses and fresh artichokes growing in the immaculate garden. Ilaria, the estate manager greeted us with a beautiful smile and gave us a tour of the vineyards. It was clear how passionate she was about her job and demonstrated a great knowledge in the viticulture and viniculture process of wine making. She gave us a little lesson about the stubborn Sangiovese grape, as I explained in an earlier post: The temperamental Sangiovese grape variety . I pointed out to her that the ground seemed very dry and she replied: “we need to make them suffer”. Of course, she was referring to this particular grape variety. After a tour of the vineyards and some photo snapping, it was Denis, the cellar manager, who guided the wine tasting. We enjoyed a lovely selection of wines in the company of Riccardo, our amazing tour guide and the multi-talented Katarina Andersson. She is a translator, an educator and a wine writer at: Grapevine Adventures. The wines were luscious and of high quality which were no surprise to us, after seeing the labor of love that went into producing them. Fortunately, because of the terroir and the micro-climate, Fattoria di Montemaggio is able to grow many grape varieties such as: Sangiovese, with small additions of Merlot, Pugnitello, Chardonnay, Malvasia Nera, and Ciliegiolo. A few months ago, I was able to get their Chianti Classico in my area and paired it with Pork Chops in Tomato sauce. It worked delightfully. I brought back a couple of bottles from this recent trip and cannot wait to crack them open. If you intend to visit Tuscany, I highly recommend that you put Fattoria di Montemaggio on your itinerary. You will be very happy with this gem of a place.
I hope you have enjoyed my blog post on this beautiful winery and the enchanting photographs that I captured during my visit. My wish for you is to have the opportunity to visit this lovely place and bask under the Tuscan Sun.
Gina Martino Zarcadoolas, Foodiewinelover
My Food, Wine & Travel Lifestyles
World renown – WSET (Wine, Spirit, Education, Trust)
Level-2 Certified Wine Connoisseur.
Culinary aficionado & Lover of Global Cuisines & Travels
Photos by Gina Martino Zarcadoolas for Foodiewinelover
and by Katarina Andersson – Wine Writer
In 2011, I embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime, Mediterranean cruise with my family. One of the destinations, was the lavish principality of Monaco. From Cannes, France, we took an excursion on a lovely bus trip along the French Riviera, known as Côte d’Azur. The scenery was spectacular, and we enjoyed sight-seeing the opulent homes, and the magnificent views of the ocean. We drove on the streets, where the Monaco Grand Prix, (Grand Prix de Monaco, in French) is held every year. We arrived in Monaco right before lunchtime. We ate delicious pizza at a small restaurant tucked in the alleys. Afterwards, we shopped for souvenirs, and took a walking tour of “The rock” (aka Monaco-Ville where the royal palace is). We enjoyed the splendid vistas of the harbor, and the surrounding areas. We were pressed for time, but wanted to visit the grandiose and extravagant area of Monte Carlo, located on a prominent cliff. We took a “gamble” and caught another bus to visit Monte Carlo. Once we arrived, we were mesmerized by the glamour, and wealth of the area. Colorful Ferraris and luxurious cars swarmed the streets. We toured the Monte Carlo Casino, known as Casino de Monte Carlo. (You can either visit the lobby for a quick glimpse, or pay a fee to visit inside). A picture ID was required to visit the casino. We were not allowed to take pictures inside, and had to leave our cameras at the front entrance. Outside, We were free to take beautiful pictures of expensive cars, lavish gardens, and luxurious stores. Monte Carlo is where the palatial Hotel de Paris is located. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to experience the glitzy nightlife, but at least we got a taste of this magical place. We got back to our tour bus in a nick of time, and had a fabulous experience.
Prince Rainier III of Monaco was married to American actress Grace Kelly and was the longest ruling European monarch at the time of his death in 2005.
So in 2016 I turned 50. I was in Italy for my 21st, 30th and 40th. To keep this birthday tradition going I always knew I'd be in Italy for my 50! This blog starts with my 5 week adventure in Puglia but my love affair with Italy continues.....