"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'" ~ C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tuscan Tales Day 3: Chianti!

I am having so much fun posting this stuff and I hope I'm not boring any of you :)

First things first... here is the Italy prize pack! It's not much, just little souvenirs from each of the places I visited PLUS, not pictured, one of my now-practically-famous-but-not-so-much owls :D
The little guy on the left is a Pinocchio puppet. They were everywhere in Italy. I got this one at Graves on our day out in the Chianti region. The calendar and pencil are both from Siena. The circle at the top there is a tooled leather bracelet from the leather market in Florence. And the little weird thing on the right is a marble (I think?) owl that I picked up in Rome. It was too cute and funny. I saw them a number of places and finally decided to get one for the prize pack. So there you have it. You have a chance to earn up to five entries just by commenting on each of the posts this week!

Now for my adventures in Chianti!
 These first few pictures are from the little town of Castellina.

 The region we visited is known for it's red wine - in particular the Chianti Classico. Real Chianti Classico is marked with the black rooster. There's a funny folk tale about the black rooster which I will regale you with. There is an intense rivalry between Florence and Siena. Has been for a very long time and it still continues today. At one point they were trying to find a fair way to decide where the border fell between the two towns so they determined on the following contest: Both towns would send a rider out toward the other town. The place where the riders met would be considered the border. In order to start at approximately the same time they agreed to begin when the first rooster crowed. The people of Florence took a black rooster and locked it in a room for a couple of days without food. When they let it out, early on the morning of the contest, it was so upset and disoriented that it began to crow right away, even though it was still long before daybreak. The Florentine rider started and covered considerably more distance than the Senese rider, even though they were better known for their horse skills. The place they met is what is now the town of Castellina.
 I love the flower gardens in everybody's yards.

 I can't remember if I took this in Castellina or at our next stop...
 Some Etruscan tombs! They were empty, but it was so cool to see them!

 The view from the hill was gorgeous! We spent a nice chunk of time just relaxing and enjoying the area.


 I just can't get enough of the countryside!
 Grapevines at Villa Cafaggio - we got a tour of the winery!
 Barrels of Chianti Classico (and other wines)
 Look at how GIANT these barrels are!
There were stacks and stacks of bottles of wine just resting and aging. Crazy!

 I"m partial to this picture
 My very first ever taste of wine. Yes. Ever. It was bitter and I didn't really like it, but how many people can say that the first time they ever tasted wine was at a winery in Chianti?
This is the town of Graves (pronounced GRE-ves [both 'e's are short]). There are all these cute little shops around a square. We just stopped her briefly on our way back to the hotel.

And that's it for today. Lots of pictures, but I loved this outing! Tomorrow... to Florence and then ROME on Friday!

So leave me a comment to enter the contest and tell me, do you remember the first time you tasted wine? Was it as momentous as mine? :P What wine do you like?


Marebabe said...

It’s funny, I don’t remember exactly when I first tasted wine, but it was probably in my sophomore or junior year of high school, and it was almost certainly Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill. It was always low-priced, which undoubtedly increased its broad appeal among the campus set. Out of curiosity, I typed that into Wikipedia just now and got redirected to E & J Gallo Winery, who produced the 28 flavors (!) of Boone’s Farm wines. Back in the early 1970s in Kansas, naughty, underage drinkers somehow got their hands on the stuff, and it (not beer) became a staple at parties. I don’t remember who actually purchased it, but it was just THERE, always nicely chilled, and ready to pour into Dixie cups! (Nobody was trying to be sophisticated in my group.) I haven’t even SEEN a bottle of Strawberry Hill since high school, but to this day I prefer sweet and fruity – never dry – wines. My clear favorite is Martini & Rossi Asti (sparkling). Sangria is tolerable, and I also remember trying a plum wine once that was sweet enough I could drink it without making a face. I fear I’ll never be a wine snob!

Talli Roland said...

Gorgeous! Loving the photos! God, the first time I tasted wine... hm. I can't remember, actually! But I do *love* wine.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

i am also not a big fan of wine. But tombs!! I would love to see those tombs!

Mia Hayson said...

I am totally loving this. What an adventure! You must be exhausted!

Ummm. Not going to lie, that's kind of awesome that your first taste was in a winery in Italy. Mmm. My first taste was very young. My family cook with wine sooooo, yea. But I'm not a massive red wine fan either. Hehe.