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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tuscan Trek: Lunch with Fattoria il Poggio

After spending a few hours at Pisa, trying to get the right pose at the leaning tower our tour group headed over to Fattoria il Poggio. Man it was so great to be back in Tuscany, although the sun was quite vexing and humidity intense.

Their winery ‘Il Poggio’ is situated right in the middle of all the action. Just a short drive from the Montecarlo DO you will find some of the most visited touristy destinations in Tuscany; the wonderfully well-known artistic towns of Florence, Lucca, Pisa, Siena and Pistoia to name a few are all relatively close by, waiting to welcome the wandering-wino. Il Poggio winery lies near the Chianti D.O.C wine production area.

After a very quick tour of their winemaking facilities and a glance at the olive oil production, lunch was mercifully waiting for our very hungry group in a shaded out-door dining hall. A four course meal and many different types of wine from Rosado's to a Super Tuscan.

However, it was the Super Tuscan which was the last to be tried but quickly became the most coveted wine at the table. We asked for and were given another bottle, we then began "eyeing" the other tables who had barely touched theirs, causing us to launch daring missions to abscond with their bottle [we were successful]. Blackcurrant and plum dominated, oak was well integrated over soft tannins, coupled with just the right amount food-inviting acidity. The finish was complex, persistent and the ABV low. It sells for $15 euros a stellar value for  a Super-Tuscan that delivers so much, I scored this wine 91 points and give it a hearty buy recommendation for my friends in the EU Zone.

While Montecarlo [aka Lucca] is not exactly in the thick of the Tuscan vineyards however many can be found there, here is a link to the heart of the Tuscan wine region, that will assist you greatly in planning your own Tuscan adventure. It's a great resource for folks that may want to visit some of the more famous or well known wineries which produce some of the most often coveted Super Tuscan's of the Maremma Coast and is only about a 50 mile drive Montecarlo area.

The traditional Tuscan lunch we were served that day was really very good and the quick service in between plates was fantastic. The opening salvo, was one of best tasting dishes of what looked like a bowl of spaghetti, that I ever had [see picture]. Not sure how they made the sauce, but it was better than anything I've ever made at home or had stateside [We did run into some bad examples, of this same style first dish in Rome].

A wonderfully run operation and another shiny example of a Tuscan winery that "gets" Agrotourism. I say this because on my first trip to Tuscany in 2008, I found that many wineries there [in Tuscany] just do not quite "get" the why of Agrotourism.

They are very open and welcoming of tourist and don't seem to mind, what amounts to the same crazy questions over and over. They have an outdoor shop set-up just outside the dining hall with everything they sell on their winery [farm] from limoncello to wine [the prices are reasonable]. Sorry to say that their wines are not available for export and don't contain enough sulfites for shipping anyway.

My only suggestion for them would be to lose the clunky stemware as pictured above, it's not doing the wine any favors. I know this is traditional, but I would still recommend giving real stems a swirl. I would have to say that on the whole their wines were good to very good, but this ST was a home-run ball. If you are ever in the area, I hope you will stop by and see them, enjoy a plate of that pasta, soak up some Tuscan premium balsamic and olive oil on your bread like an American and drink in some of that amazing Tuscan countryside, until next time sip long and prosper, cheers!
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