Camigliano is one of the wineries that you’ll probably never visit unless an insider let you in on its existence. Their unavailability on the Bulgarian market is sadly a fact but the moment we met the sincere and cordial wine-maker Sergio Cantini and tasted the legendary Brunello di Montalcino under his friendly supervision, Camigliano permanently fitted in that warm corner of our hearts meant only for the most special things in life.
If we weren’t clear enough let us repeat: a trip around Tuscany is full of wine temptations. The province is saturated with thousands of wineries, vineyards and historic landmarks. For a month in Tuscany we only managed to see the tip of the iceberg, but let us not talk about ice– it is cold outside anyways. Instead, jump in your imaginary means of transportation for a short visit to one of the most popular wine towns in the province, i.e. Montalcino. We will talk about Montepulciano later...
For Christmas, we are leaving you with one of the most special stories from our trip to Italy this year. Fattoria Nittardi was a cosmic discovery for us. A friend of a friend (because good stories begin that way once in a while), a charming Italian young man from Sicily, told us “Hey, you are going to Italy for wine tastings then go to my friend; his family owns a small castle and a beautiful winery, you will love it, I will make the call.” (Caro Mario, grazie mille!). Nittardi was not only one of the most charming and secluded wineries we visited but also the place we decided to stay at during our entire trip around Chianti Classico. In this article we will tell you about their wines, their winemakers and the amazing estate that may well be your next stop for an unforgettable vacation in Tuscany!
After spending a few hours on the road, taking pictures and
We wanted to present you with a truly boutique winery but saying “boutique” bears the danger of adding unnecessary pretense unless we explain that, in this story, we use the word “boutique” in the sense of “small, authentic and honest”. San Giusto a Rentennano (also known as San Giusto alle Monache in the past) is among the most down-to-earth wineries that offer top quality wine without a drop of pomposity. They are a sophisticated wine producer in their very nonchalant, “I did it my way” kind of …way. Unfortunately, wineries like these are hard to find and we had to do our research to discover San Giusto. The good news is that now you don’t have to spend more time looking for it.
GPS coordinates: +43° 36’ 43.30’’; +11°11’ 29.76’’
The Marchesi Antinori! Chances are you have heard that name, you have tasted some of their wines and you already have an opinion about them. The Marchesi Antinori appellation can never leave you indifferent, no matter if you have a strong view on globalization or traditionalism. We knew that we had to approach this winery with information, not expectations, in order to present you with a realistic story about Marchesi Antinori and what they stand for. Easier said than done. We had read many stories depicting Marchesi Antinori as an empire rather than a family business and we wanted to learn more about them in person.
Ever since we began our research on what to visit in Tuscany, we knew that we had to show you an ‘agriturismo’ (i.e. agritourism) place. Agritourism is undoubtedly a growing trend worldwide but visiting one in a land that is globally recognized for its culinary treasures is a must even if you think it may not be your sort of thing. The only risks you’re taking is one, meeting some amazingly friendly people who exude tranquility and treat their land with tremendous respect and two, not having enough space in your trunk when you head back because you fall in love with their products. At home, you exhaust your reserves and go buy a regular jar of honey from the store. Suddenly, commercially available goods like honey, pasta, olive oil do not taste the same. Ah, if only you could go back to the farm and buy some of the REAL stuff.
Dear amici felici,
There is just one week left until we leave the Balkan Peninsula for the splendid boot-shaped one to the West. In contrast to most TV shows that promise to come back in September right on time for school, we double promise to keep working all season long and dedicate our summer vacation to the tedious rhythm of drinking Italian wine, eating Italian dishes and exploring Tuscany’s most stunning roads. Apparently, it is a matter of dedication and our flawless work ethic.
It really is! Every answer to a questions we had about Italy or Italians began with “…it’s complicated…”.
We got used to things being right and wrong, true and untrue at the same time. Italians obsess over food, they talk more than your brain accepts to perceive on any given day and they measure large sums of money in Ferraris.
Only in Italy, ladies and gentlemen!
THIS SUMMER is going to be different! We will dedicate it to the Italian way of life.
Tuscany is a very popular and much explored wine region that we are going to discover for ourselves and we invite you wholeheartedly to join us in the adventure this July. There is the possibility for us to visit together other provinces in the North of Italy but let’s not give out everything in advance. Well, certainly there will be mentioning of pizza, scooters and fashion but there are several topics that we will focus on, including:
Vino Culture has a few simple goals to fulfill since its opening in 2014: to build up respect for wine, to make it available to wine lovers, to show new and unfamiliar varieties, and to inform and educate the visitors without a drop of patronizing superiority. Here, wine and the attention to its selection are major players aiming to broaden your horizons and intrigue the senses.
Sunshine reggae… but I somehow knew that visiting the sea capital of Bulgaria in mid-season would be a challenge.
People with 'unbalanced acidity' are more nervous than ever. They buzz chaotically around town going the wrong way in one-way streets, music blasting out of their cars show the rest 'how it is done here'.
41° 28' 24" N
23° 23' 19" E
Villa Melnik has long been on our list of Bulgarian wineries we want to tell you about and we are extremely happy that the time has finally come. Besides the visit, we had the chance to get to know their beautiful region that (we admit) was somewhat unfamiliar to us.
If you can judge a country by its wine, the best place to find an extensive selection of “reference points” for Bulgaria is Vino Orenda. This wine shop offers Bulgarian wine exclusively with a portfolio of more than 55 wineries and 350 wines (really impressive for the scale of wine production in the country). Vino Orenda is situated in downtown Sofia at 50A Makedonia Blvd. (close to Ruski Pametnik for those of you who know a bit about the capital’s landmarks).
The wine shop is the place to taste and learn more about Bulgarian wine with the polite and duly assistance of an experienced consultant. You can also find a lot of useful written information on wine tourism in Bulgarian and catalogues of Bulgarian wines, or you can simply indulge in a conversation with the owner on what is worth seeing and/or drinking in the country. Finally, if you are looking for gifts for friends or you want to take back a liquid piece of Bulgaria with you, this is the place to find a great variety.