Friday, September 30, 2011

Bottling day at Montefioralle

The Lamborghini tractor

De-stemming the Sangiovese

Bottling day at the vineyard is when all friends and family are called to lend a hand. The small producers like the Sieni family at Montefioralle do not have the space or money for their own bottling plant so rely on the mobile bottling unit which is hired once a year to do the job. It can cope with 2,000 bottles an hour and within the day every wine from the Chianti Classico to the Supertuscan is corked and labelled and ready to ship

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fagioli borlotti freschi

Pasta integrale e fagioli freschi per salutare l'arrivo dell'autunno.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Not on the label

I noticed a few days ago that not many of the jars and bottles found in our kitchen have labels. None on the olive oil. None on the jam. Certainly none on the conserva di pomodoro. As for wine, the bottles with labels usually make an appearance only with guests. The reason? Well, we don't need labels. I know where the olive oil comes from, the trees on which the olives grew, the person who who picked and pressed them. What more reassurance could a label give?

For those not lucky enough to be on first name terms with their local producer of wine the Italian government brought about the regulatory structure of Denominazione di origine controllata DOC in the 1960's as a means of quality assurance. Later a more restrictive denomination DOCG was introduced to identify those products of a particularly high quality. All Chianti Classico wine bottles earn their DOCG only after being analysed and tasted by the government licensed inspector.

The 'Gallo Nero' or black rooster is a registered trademark of the Chianti Classico consortium, allowing purchasers an easily recognisable symbol with which to identify the wine. If you want a Chianti Classico, look for the black rooster.

But don't take my word for it...come to Italy and find out for yourself on the Slow day in Tuscany.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Conserva di pomodoro

Anche se l'estate sembra non voler finire noi pensiamo già alle conserve per l'inverno.

pomodori succosi,
basilico fresco,
barattoli riciclati
e un pò di pazienza.

Quando nei prossimi mesi i barattoli verranno aperti, il loro profumo ci ricorderà questa calda estate in città.