During the colder months I crave a mocha cappuccino but once summer is upon me and the sun is warming the beaches I go to my favorite wine shop, choose a few tasty reds and whites, come home and make a pitcher of sangrias for me and my friends. This year will be no different except I have recently finished a two year course in Italian and all I want to do is try out my new found speaking skills in Italy; at a vineyard of course. There are so many wonderful places to visit in Italy, I’m quite certain any of them will be outstanding but the one I’ve chosen is Vignamaggio; a beautiful villa outside of Greve in Chianti. If you’re a Shakespeare fan, you may have heard of it before. The movie Much Ado About Nothing was filmed here in the early ‘90s. It is also rumored the famous Mona Lisa is from the villa, her name actually being Lisa Gherardini.
The villa is spread out over 140 acres of land with 50 of them used for growing grapes turning them into different types of Chianti. Depending on when you go, you’re able to take a tour of their vineyards and at the end taste different selections of wine. While on the tour, you’ll see rows of grapes, and olive trees (they also make their own olive oil), barrels of wines and the estate itself. There are three types of tours depending on your preference. You can tour the vineyard, cellar and gardens without tasting or you can choose to do a tasting with lunch or if you really want to be extravagant (I know I do) have dinner with your tour that will include different wines and olive oils from their fields.
The villa has beautiful cottages you’re able to stay in with all the amenities you may want. Each of them decorated with antique furniture. You can even bring your fur babies with you! This is a pet friendly villa as well as kid friendly. Enjoy an authentic meal at their restaurant dining on locally made olive oil, fresh vegetables, pasta and of course one of their many wines. You have a choice of sitting inside or dining outside on their patio surrounding by the hillside. The villa even has a spa. This is not your typical spa. If you want something a little different you can take a bath in wine. Yes, in wine. Now that is a splendid way to end a two year Italian course; being surrounding by cypress trees, drinking wine and dipping freshly made Italian bread into olive oil. Molto bene!!!