Monday, June 11, 2012

Cantine Aperte part 2

Good morning! This was outside of our B&B that Sunday
On the Sunday of our weekend in Tuscany we toured the open cellars on the south side of Tuscany. We were near the border of Umbria and visited Montalcino (a very hilly medieval town), Uccelliera winery, Felsinà, Poggio Antico and a place where we didn’t buy the wine. Each place gives a tour and explains the fermentation process, samples their wine and usually has snacks. Since I wanted to go to Siena and Josh did that for me on Saturday, it was my turn to let him try some wine and be his driver. I have to admit, it wasn’t as fun just watching someone drinking wine L

Josh was up to see the sunrise

We also visited Montalcino and spent some time walking around the city. This was definitely a tough day for me! After all of the walking on Saturday in Siena and Pienza, I was pretty tired. When we arrived in Montalcino we parked at the wrong spot and had to walk all the way up the hill to the town. We later found a parking lot at the top of the hill near the city center… Next time. Unfortunately, after we got up to the town (after much huffing, puffing and taking breaks to let my heart rate return to normal on the long staircase), we realized that the entire town was made of really steep hills. It was rough! My poor body didn’t like that at all and started to reject the idea of movement. We had to stop for lunch so I didn’t pass out (literally). It’s so frustrating that the things I had no problem with before are suddenly the most difficult tasks! Honestly, I can’t wait until Bambino comes so I can get back into the shape I was in before!

A church we found after we got up the hill into Montalcino

a steep hill we had to go down after we got
into Montalcino...

Had to get this one for Josh's Mom- she loves Charlie Brown!

In the city center of Montalcino

Inside the fortress at Montalcino

Uccelliera gave us the best tour of the weekend. She took us into the cellars and showed us the special barriques they have, and even let Josh taste the wine straight from the barrel. He was able to taste how the wine is at different stages of the aging process, and then even tried a mixture of two barrels. By far it was the best tour we’ve ever been on. Unfortunately, I had to watch- but it was fun to hear the explanations of everything. They also sell olive oil, so we were able to taste that.
Uccelliera means "bird house" in Italian. This used to be the birdhouse.

The special barriques

A huge monastery we found on the way to Uccelliera

Felsinà is another fun winery to go to. We took a tour of their cellar last year when Josh’s mom and Mike came to visit us, so this year we only did the tasting (again, I watched). Although, I was able to try the olive oil (which is amazing!). They have a huge key to get into the cellar and this time we got a picture of it so you can see how HUGE it is!!

The HUGE key! It's about the size of Bambino

the first pour

After a long day of wine tasting, it was time for me to drive back to Milan. I was so happy to be home! We didn’t get home until after midnight that night and I completely crashed. This was a rough weekend for a pregnant woman with all of the walking; thankfully Cantine Aperte only happens once a year! If you’re not pregnant, it’s great though. And I should add that even though I couldn't partake in the fun, we met some really fun people and got to see some beautiful sights. Not to mention Josh really enjoyed himself- so it was a good day :)

the grapes were just starting to bud

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