Showing posts from December, 2012

Authentic Italian Cooking: Manga, Manga!

We happened to be in Umbria during harvest season.  Le Velette Wine Estate  was our home for a week and happened to be in full swing harvest mode.  We witnessed winery employees bringing in the grapes from the fields and starting the wine making process.  It was pretty cool staying on the grounds of the estate while all this activity was happening.  We could literally walk into our backyard and taste the grapes.  
The grounds of the estate were stunning and we had views from the main reception house out across the valley and of the town of Orvieto set atop the hill.  

FloJo immediately fell in love with the winery dog who didn't really seem to have an assigned duty other than to entertain the winery guests. 
He was so loveable and had a bunch of puppy energy.  FloJo was plotting how to get him home to America, however he was bigger than the suitcase.  He was a miniature version of the Shaggy D.A.  Maybe it was a lawyer, similar to Wilby Daniels, who had the same curse of turning into…

The Hills are Alive Part Duex.....Montalcino

Lining the northwest border of Umbria is Tuscany and on our last full day at the Villa de Tenuta Le Velette in Umbria we ventured North to the Tuscany region and the sun-kissed hilltown of Montalcino.  

The town of Montalcino is set high at the top of one of the many regional hills surrounded by vineyards growing Sangiovese grapes.  The town is famous for their Brunello di Montalcino wine made from a hybrid Sangiovese called Sangiovese Grosso grapes grown in this area.  The warm, dry climate allows the grapes to ripen almost a week before other Tuscan wines.  The wine has become so popular with the number of producers growing from eleven in the 1960s to more than two hundred today. The wine has been said to have single-handedly reversed Montelcino's economic downturn into an upswing.  
We arrived at Montelcino after an action-packed van ride (let's just say we went around a certain roundabout like it was a merry-go-round without exiting until those of us in the back row were mor…