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Wine Reviews March

12 Mar

Wine Reviews March

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Winemaker Profile: A week with Lorenza Sebasti of Castello di Ama

18 Dec

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[This article was first printed in the latest Summer/Autumn newsletter for my workplace. I have adjusted it to be a little more casual for LDdV.]

Castello di Ama is a unique place, a fusion of art and vines, located in the heart of the historical zone of Chianti Classico in Gaiole. The 90 hectares of vineyards sit high up in the quiet hamlet of Ama, surrounded by rolling hills of calcareous soil full of shale and large rocks. This land is what defines the Castello di Ama terroir and makes it such an inimitable landscape for vines. The property is run by Lorenza Sebasti and her highly skilled winemaking husband and former President of the local consorzio, Marco Pallanti. Together they are ambassadors for the great wines of Chianti Classico.

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Bibemus & ABBA do Chianti & the Super-duper Tuscans

4 Dec

“Super-duper Tuscans gonna blind me
But I won’t feel blue
Like I always do
‘Cause Chianti’s in the crowd there too”

[Apologies from the daggy Krystina for ruining Abba’s Super Trooper song. On a side note, did you ever notice how annoying Agnetha’s pointing arm gets after the third time?]

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Bru & Nell’s Excellent Adventure

2 Oct

The Original: Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

“Brunello, exceedingly elegant and vibrant, with more complexity than muscle, won my heart.” – Kerin O’Keefe, from ‘Brunello di Montalcino’

Last week I hosted a tasting with Mark Protheroe looking at twenty-two Brunello di Montalcino wines of the 2007 vintage. The aim was to provide a thorough spread of producers to highlight the differences between the unofficial sub-regions of the Montalcino area. Below are some brief tasting notes and detailed information of the tasting, including what I wrote for the tasting booklet. If you do read right until the end, you may come across an interesting character with beady red eyes that some like to refer to as ‘Suckzilla’. You have been warned…

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Brunello Club – “Say hello to your friends”

11 Sep

For most of the people who stumble across this blog, the reference in today’s title may be lost. However if you were a young lass like me in the ’90s, you’d be well aware of this ol’ chestnut and the theme song’s tag line, “Say hello to your friends“. It also inspired this:

baby-sitters club, spoof, funny, field, flowers, girls

Photograph from the 1995 film ‘Baby-Sitters Club’

What is with my infatuation with Brunello di Montalcino of late?

Well there is an event that I am organising with Grossi restaurant’s wine buyer, Mark Protheroe, under the Sommeliers Australia umbrella. We have organised a grand total of twenty-one wines, some of which have come directly from the Brunello Consorzio and are thus unavailable in the country. They all hail from the 2007 vintage and will be available at this one tasting.

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Bibemus boards the Brunello train. With surprise guest, Jean Claude Van Damme

10 Jul

During June’s waxing crescent moon and under the watchful eye of team Bibemus, fourteen Italophiles converged in the darkness outside the Carlton Wine Room and craned their necks towards the sparkling night sky.

Together they chanted:

star light star bright, wine, quote, poem

Adapted by La Donna del Vino

The stars twinkled back at the happy group. Their wish would be granted.

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Great Grange & Grand Italians – A wine tasting event

20 Mar


Penfolds Grange is unquestionably Australia’s most famous red wine and has reached celestial heights in terms of adoration and expectation. From its experimental inception in 1951 by winemaker Max Schubert, Grange has been lovingly crafted to shine as a uniquely Australian wine of longevity, power and class.

“Grange’s aesthetic quality and remarkable aging potential is the stuff of legends.”

Andrew Caillard MW

In line with the 20-year celebration of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, an event was arranged that could commemorate the significance of this anniversary. Two bottles each of Penfolds Grange 1971 and 1976 (tested by the clinic in 2011) were obtained from a close friend of the owner of my workplace. The extensive museum Italian wine list was pulled out for perusal. It was like being a kid in a candy store as eight other wines were chosen that hail from Italy which would sit alongside Australia’s most iconic wine. The wines selected are classified in the upper echelon of quality and come from the most respected producers. These include rare wines such as Ceretto Bricco Rocche Barolo Brunate 1990, Produttori del Barbaresco Montefico 1985, Mastrojanni Brunello di Montalcino Schiena d’Asino 1990, Tedeschi Amarone della Valpolicella ‘Monte Olmi’ 1991, Castello di Ama Chianti Classico 1997 and even the famous Toscana IGT wine Antinori’s Tignanello 1985 and Bolgheri’s inimitable Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia DOC 1987.

In total, the combined age of these wines is over 200 years. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and one that I feel privileged to have been able to pour at. Below is a visual diary of the evening with small commentary made as to the condition of the wines.

La Donna del Vino savouring a glass of Grange

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Where The Wild Things Are

6 Mar
Wild Boar, shooter, gunman, hunter

Source unknown

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Wine Reviews January

10 Jan


Upper Yarra Valley, Victoria

RRP $35

wine, Upper Yarra Valley, gothic, label, Franco d'Anna

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Prince Wine Store Tasting: Tre Bicchieri Winners & A Few Favourites!

4 Jan

Well it has taken me an awful long time to get around to this but finally I can rave about a tasting I went to in December 2010 with Michael McNamara at the Prince Wine Store in Bank St, South Melbourne. All the wines are available there. After the free oyster and French Chablis tasting in the store, you could pay $35 and go into the Pod to try Italian goodies! You’d be silly not to, right?

Apparently only six other older gentlemen agreed with my logic.

One lady…many men

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Arriverderci Bolgheri

20 Jan
Casa dolce casa (home sweet home) 20th Gennaio 2010

Having spent the best part of January travelling around south-western Europe it was nice to come back to my old home Bolgheri in Tuscany for three days to just relax, eat fantastic food, and hang out with my friends and take the time to show mum around the countryside by bike and foot. We had a great time here and I got to show mum just how wonderful the Meletti-Cavallari’s really are at Grattamacco. Below are some of the last photos of our trip. Enjoy. The next instalments for La Donna Del Vino will be when I am in South Australia. I move there on Saturday to begin work on Monday at Henschke Winery in the Barossa Valley.

La macchina bella di Claudio (il meccanico di Piermario)
Claudio’s beautiful car (Piermario’s mechanic)

L’albero famoso di Toscana (the famous Tuscan tree)

Facendo una passeggiata nella città di Bolgheri (strolling through the town of Bolgheri)

Portando la Zaira per una passeggiata a Castagneto Carducci (Taking Zaira for a walk in Castagneto Carducci)

Il modo vecchio per asciugare i vestiti in Toscana (the old way of drying your clothes in Tuscany)

I sogni dei ragazzi di Bolgheri

17 Dec
Giorgio, Francesca and Greta have given me a new notebook as a christmas gift. Totally lovely of them! I just so happened to finish my other diary too so it is perfect timing. Plus the fact that they filled the first few pages with memories and notes makes it all the more special. The first page of the notebook reads: I have a dream and underneath it leaves you lines to write your dreams…this is what they wrote for themselves: 

Sogno di Giorgio:

  • avere almeno lo porsche
  • fare sesso con m…f…
  • fare il vino più buono nel mondo

Sogno di Franceseca:

  • girare il mondo
  • imparare l’inglese come Krystina
  • fare tante vacanze
  • imparare surf con il fratello di Krystina (cioe Davide)
  • conoscere tanta gente carina

Sogno di Greta:

  • vedere NYC
  • fare passito
  • avere una mia cantina
  • imparare l’inglese
  • imparare il portoghese
  • comprare un paio di Jimmy Choo
  • venire a trovarti in Australia
  • sposare il cantante dei Green Day

E poi ho scritto il nel spazio vuoto:

Sogno di Krystina:

  • avere una cantina piccola come Sorrenberg
  • girare il mondo, avere tante esperienze
  • assaggiare i vini più buoni con il cibo più buono
  • avere una enoteca buonissima e figa con la Amanda
  • fare il mio Masters in Wine Business
  • avere una casa mia con tutte le mie cose
  • avere una macchina dell’epoca – Fiat 500!

Nice thoughts, no?

Ti disturbo?

23 Nov

This is one of those things that I wasn’t sure if I should write about, purely for the fact that my mother reads this blog…or is at least my most avid reader (perhaps my only reader)…and to whom this will be the most disturbing. Nevertheless, I believe it is worthwhile to not only recount on the events that were exciting and interesting…but also those that are a little more disturbing. This, I am afraid, is definitely the latter.

I was up at 6:30am for my usual walk down the hill and along the quiet road that runs parallel to Via Bolgherese. Everything was fine and totally normal during my walk up until about 7:30am when I was on my way back towards the house and heard a car through the music of my iPod coming up behind me so I moved over to the right to let it pass. Turns out it was one of those ‘Api’ utes, I think they call them, the tiny one-seater utes with only three wheels that old men seem to use to carry stuff from A to B and not much else as they don’t have too much potential.
Anyway I immediately recognised the driver as the nice old man I’d met two weeks ago out the front of a private Olive Oil factory. That time he had been out the front with his car and as I was passing by he stopped to ask me if I knew the German people who lived up the hill as they’d closed the gate on him or something. After a bit of conversation I obviously slipped up and he realised I wasn’t Italian but we had a quick chat nevertheless and then I continued on my merry way. After then, a few times a week he would pass by on his truck and we would give a wave and I always thought, ‘Such a nice old man’ … can you tell where this is going already?
Back to the present, and the old Italian man in his car drove by slowly and I waved, smiled, and he opened his window and paused his car and apologised for disturbing my walk.
Figurati. (No problem), I’d said.
So we had a casual chat, why I’m walking (the Italians don’t fully understand the concept of purposeful exercise), what I do for work, how my Italian is going, do I like it here, sei fidanzata? (am I single)…?
Si, non ho un ragazzo. (Yes, I don’t have a boyfriend).
Ma ti garba i uomini in Italia? (But do you like Italian men?) (OK so I thought we were kidding around here, it seemed like he was).
Si, non sono male, sono simpatici. (They’re not so bad, they’re nice), I had said.
Ti do un passagio su? (Do you want a lift up the hill?)
Ah no grazie, devo fare la mia passeggiata. (No thanks, I have to do my walk).
Sto lavorando nel oliveto, sai dove? Si passa….ti aspetto li? (I am working in the olive grove past such and such, I will wait for you?) followed by a rude gesture with his lingua.
Ah…no…., I said, stepping away further from the vehicle.
Ma dai, si deve divertirsi nella vita! Sei veramente bella! (But you need to enjoy life! You are really beautiful!)
No grazie, sto bene, buona giornata! (No thanks, I’m OK, good day!) and I slammed the car door and he drove off.
That’s the end of the story thank god…but suffice to say I will be taking a completely different route from now on. My boss Giorgio and the girls have said they will be my bodyguards from now on anyway! Or perhaps I’ll just carry a golf club around with me to knock these vecchi on the head the next time they try something!

Colle Massari winery visit

18 Nov
Before venturing off on a bit of a day trip today, my boss Giorgio and I had to stop off at the winery first. As instructed I was dressed nicely with my little red Dorothy-like shoes. When we arrived at the winery in Bolgheri, Giorgio decides to inform me that I will need to transfer the heating ‘banana-looking’ device from tank 21 to 20. Normally a job accomplished in pairs, it turns out that someone arrived and I ended up doing it on my own instead (safety first, I changed into my gumboots!). Then I got some water and sulfur and back in my little red shoes I scaled some barrels that were going through malolactic fermentation and cleaned one of them that had bubbled over and had vinegar flies around it. Finally we were ready and Francesca, Giorgio, Stefano & Fabio from Michele Satta winery and myself drove off in the sleek and silver Mercedes Benz to Grosseto, eventually crossing into the hills to at last visit Colle Massari – the winery business that acquired Grattamacco a few years ago from Piermario Meletti-Cavallari.

The guy who owns the business now is obviously rolling in moolah and has not overlooked any expense to create a magnificent winery of the utmost materials. The barrel hall is roofed and walled in the material that one uses for the interior of sauna’s… is that pine or spruce? Of notable cellar geek importance was that the winery has the Bucher Vaslin Flavy FX 5 cross flow, which can go through their standard-sized 100hL tanks in under an hour. Very impressive!
Luca, the director of Colle Massari and Grattamacco, gave us le grand tour and a taste of their current Vermentino in tank from one vineyard, and another in the huge barrels that was undergoing malo. In the barrel hall we tasted 2008 and current Sangiovese wines. Some that were quite powerful and others that were not so interesting.
For lunch they have a chef and waitress on duty so we had six sitting down for a deliciously, exquisite full-course meal of a small appetiser with some fresh white beans and barley, porcini mushrooms, and some liver pate’ artfully arranged on a white china plate. This was followed by the primo of a small amount of perfectly al-dente penne pasta with a chingiale (wild boar) and funghi sauce which I added a little pepperoncino to to really set it off. For secondo it was meat that melted in your mouth, and dolce was a little bowl of macedonia (fruit salad). Afterwards Luca took us to the other properties that this very rich owner behind the Colle Massari project has invested in, including a castle, more vineyards, and an agriturismo. I noted that the roads to these destinations have been recently asphalted to accommodate his Ferrari…typical.

A feast to remember

15 Nov

Ristorante La Conchiglia in Viareggio, Provincia di Lucca, Toscana.

Where one goes to understand the meaning of fine dining in the true sense of the word…with a price tag to match.

Being a restaurant that resides by sea side, what would one expect other than the very best in seafood produce?! We were a group of 7 in total, including Giorgio & Francesca, Luca & Helena, Alessandro & Claudia and myself. On entering we handed the waiter our coats then sat down in the private dining room surrounded by artwork and the kitchen in the background. We were then greeted by the chef, Patrizio, who ran us through the program he’d created for us today. We would only have to select the wine, the rest we would leave up to him.

We were left in fine hands. Giorgio chose a Franciacorta from winery Alice to start with with our tartare and pane appetiser. We followed on from that with an assortment of dishes, all with some form of seafood and drank Trebbiano from Abruzzo 2007 then Pinot Noir from France.

Two hours later we arrived at dessert which began with Castagnaccio (a delicious local cake using flour from chestnuts, pinenuts and not much else then you put some olive oil and rosemary on top once it’s finished). Followed on by three offerings on a long plate of semifreddo with a fresh concoction of chocolate sauce, creme custard with rasperries, and panacotta…which Giorgio later recollected was like a woman’s boobies, soft with movement but not too hard…that’s Giorgio for you. Caffe’ was drunk by all and then we took our well-feasted selves our for a walk. The portions and the lightness of the food meant we didn’t feel so stuffed that you felt sick, but more the fact that you knew you weren’t going to be eating dinner that night for sure!

Afterwards us girls took off in the big Land Rover and drove along the backstreets towards the gorgeous town of Petrasanta in the province of Lucca also, swiping off a mirror of a blue Renault parked a little wider than normal. The mirror of the Land Rover was in the same condition…decapitated. We didn’t stop…though I suggested we should. Typical Italians for you.

At Petrasanta we arrived to find some sort of festival taking place involving lots of food, cheese and other produce…we didn’t touch a thing. Instead we took a look around the town then stopped for a drink at a bar which played music that reminded me of bars in Melbourne. In other words, modern.

After a long hard day of nothing we all drove back to Grattamacco, this time taking care to drive a little wider when passing parked cars, then watched ‘Italians’ on the big screen at home. It’s like ‘Manual of Love’ for those of you into Italian movies, entertaining, and always unpredictable. That’s one thing I can say about Italian movies in comparison to typical American ones. You can generally guess where the story line is headed with other movies, but with this one we were taking stabs during the film and of course nothing ever eventuated like we thought it would! Great movie though.

Il giorno perfetto!

13 Nov

Whoever said Friday the 13th was an unlucky day?!?! Today being Friday I would normally be dressed in my shabby manly man work clothes but instead I got to put on a dark blue dress I bought in Firenze and my new boots with my hair au naturale for a tasting that was being held at San Guido. I hopped in the ute with Giorgio and Francesca, excited to hopefully get to sample some wines! For those of you who don’t know what San Guido are, here is what Wikipedia says:

Tenuta San Guido is an Italian winery in the DOC Bolgheri in Toscana, known as a producer of “Super Tuscan” wine. Its wine ‘Sassicaia’ is considered one of Italy’s top Bordeaux-style red wines.

Here at Tenuta San Guido there were 7 journalists tasting the wines under blind conditions. There was a spot up the front on the panel where my bosses father, Piermario Meletti-Cavallari (founder of Grattamacco winery) had just completed the tasting and had since stepped outside to chat with the ladies so it was now free. Lucky Francesca got in first and went in and got to taste the wines at the head table.
After ten minutes of waiting outside with Giorgio, the Chairman of the tasting exited after having also finished and walked over to where Giorgio and I were standing. After some chatter between the two men, Giorgio asked him if Krystina could take his spot.
Krystina? Chi e’ Krystina?‘ (Krystina? Who is Krystina?), he queried.
I gracefully interjected, ‘Sono Krystina!’ (I’m Krystina!)
Thankfully due to my attire they must have noted I’m not a complete bogan and I got to waltz past all the journalists and sit up front next to Francesca and try the 20 wines from the 1999 vintage that were set in front of us.
There were photographers there who were taking photos for the Association Grand Cru delle Costa di Toscana and I must admit, considering the journalists were all male, the photographer took the opportunity to take an ample amount of snaps of the two young ladies in dresses seated up the front…spitting…hehehe it has to be done I’m afraid. Work hazard!

Article by Claudia Orlandi - il 1999 dei Grandi cru della costa Toscana

The wines were all from either the Pisa, Lucca, Livorno or Grosseto provinces, and some of the outstanding ones were that of Tenuta di Valgiano, Sassicaia and Grattamacco. It’s hard to do a tasting like this because you’re not just looking at wines of one variety, like I did a tasting last year in Piemonte of wines that were solely of the grape variety Nebbiolo. No, instead here in the ‘Bordeaux-inspired Bolgheri wine region, you have wines that may contain Sangiovese, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alicante, Colorino, Cabernet Franc, or most likely a mixture of some of these. Hence there are a lot of variables. But it was interesting nevertheless and afterwards they discussed the results and it’s always full of debate when there’s talk amongst journalists.

Photo by Francesco Tenuta. All Rights Reserved milodiscorpio74

After the privilege of being at that tasting we then got the privilege of going to Bolgheri, to Enoteca Tognoni (one of the places you can guarantee will be busy even on a weekday at lunch) and as a group of say 20 people we sat down and were treated to delicious offerings of prosciutto, lentil and pumpkin soup, tagliatelle pasta with pigeon, scotch fillet cooked to perfection and caffe. Did I mention that at Tognoni we ran into the proprietor or San Guido, the grand Mario Incisa della Rochetta who voluntarily joined our gang of people and put his magnum of 2006 Sassicaia on the table. GRAZIE! Along with that there were magnums of Michele Satta 2005 i Castagni (which is sitting on our dining table right now half-full still), 2006 and 2005 Tenuta di Valgiano, 2001 Grattamacco Bolgheri Rosso Superiore and many many more. Lunch was finished off with a Vin Santo di Sorelle Palazzi. Che buonooooo!
After lunch Giorgio and Francesca had to go pick up something so I suggested I would drop off the caffe’ to our friend Francesco in the work pick-up. So the elegant young lady in her dress hopped into the dirty work pick-up and chugged on down Via Bolgherese, thankfully no Carabinieri around, stopping at Villa Vallone to drop off the goods where Francesco and Roberto noticed I was awfully happy and rosy-cheeked for someone who had just finished a lunch at the enoteca. Thankfully no problems were had and I drove back to the winery after that with a 10 metre ladder hanging off the back of the ute without any dramas again. Don’t worry ma, I’m not bad at driving manual on the wrong side of the road now!

Chitty chitty bang bang!

8 Nov

6:15am BOOM!…….BOOM BOOM BOOM!!!

6:30am Krystina wakes up and heads outside to begin her walk
6:32am and on the road…
6:33am BOOM BOOM BOOM!!!
The hunters are out and a firin’!
So I’m in Bolgheri, living at Podere Grattamacco with the Meletti-Cavallari family in their villa and it’s a little weird at times, because this is cacciatore (hunter) season, and especially when the gunfire going off sounds like they’re only 50metres away from where you are and you begin to wonder if they just shoot anything that moves or if they actually wait to see if it’s a wild boar…or me…. :-S
There was a death a few years back they tell me when two men were out hunting individually, one went to the toilet and was there…crouching…doing his thing….when the other heard a noise or a struggling animal low to the ground and shot off a whack of bullets before realising he’d just shot a man who was having a bit of trouble letting one go….disgusting…and disturbing.
I think when I hear the successive shots it’s hunters who are going for birds as they’re more difficult to aim at I imagine instead of the wild boars…the season must be finishing soon though, or at least I hope so. They tend to wake you up pretty early and here in the mountains there are heaps of prime hunting spots so it can’t really be avoided. The only thing that stops them I suppose is the rain…which I can hear outside my window right now…hey I might get a good nights sleep!

Olives Olives Olives

29 Oct

The olives are being harvested for oil. How does one know? You walk past a tree and there’s a carpet surrounding it and you hear a compressor working it’s little butt off in the distance whilst a person stands under a tree with a stick and a strange thing at the end that moves and shakes off the olives. After which, the olives are gathered up and put into a case. Cool stuff, just wouldn’t want to be shaking a tree when spiders and whatever other insects that live in trees fall on your face too whilst doing the work! Glad it’s not me. I’ll just have the end-product thanks very much!

Vintage Festa!

27 Oct

Ieri sera e’ passata la festa della vendemmia! We ate at Federico’s pizza restaurant and we were about 18-20 of us all up. We had a lovely meal set up for us with seafood salad, prosciutto crudo and crostini to start with, then I chose matriciana penne pasta which was delicious, and finally porcini atop scallopini. For dessert my end of the stick was a bit of a disaster. I’d made pavlova and:

1) I didn’t beat the eggs for long enough before adding the sugar so when mounted on the plate it was soft, and
2) it stuck to the aluminium foil I’d put underneath because in this house they don’t seem to understand the concept of baking paper! So when I attempted to pull the pavlova off I eventually had four individual pieces of meringue. But instead of making a mountain out of a molehill I said to myself, “ma chi se ne frega”, we’ll assemble it as per normal, pile on the cream and the fruit and we’ll see how we go!
Then, Federico, who prepared the final assemblage for me, chucked the mixed berries and their juices with the bananas and kiwis and mixed it all together…so basically in the end we had a purple mound of fruit atop my shitty meringue! Lucky I have no photos to post!

Isole d’Elba

23 Oct

Today is Friday and after work and moving furniture around at Villa Vallone where they’re going to be commencing restorative work on Monday, we left for Isole d’Elba from Piombino to spend the weekend at the resort where Giorgio’s father, Piermario, manages the winery Tenute di Ripalte. We were a group of seven: Giorgio, Francesca, Camila, Greta, Helena, Francesca and myself.

We missed the 9pm boat by only a few minutes so grabbed a caffe’ and bought the tickets for the 10pm boat. On arrival an hour later at Portoferraio we took off with the ute and grabbed the green Fiat panda left in the carpark that belongs to Piermario and drove off into the buio (darkness), passing most of the time along dirt roads that curved their way dangerously along the coast’s cliff edge. We arrived at the hotel before midnight and found our gorgeous rooms awaiting us: Greta and I crashed together on the matrimonial bed and slept in as the hotel is closed in this less busier period.

The itinerary for the following day was to check out the winery which is in the process of being built and is humungous and amazing. There’s like only 15 small tanks in it at the moment but clearly they have some spanners in the works for accommodating the amount of space they’re creating the winery for!
We all hopped onto the hotels 12-seater bus and drove along the southern coast of the island eventually reaching Campo nell’Elba. Its a coastal town but due to the fresh wind there weren’t that many people around and the chance of swimming was clearly rejected.

Afterwards, traversing along the countryside we made our way to Marciana where the girls found a marmelata shop that made weird but delicious combinations like Pear and Ciocolato, plum and rhum spreads! Onwards from here we made our way past more towns stopping at Villa San Martino – the residence of Napolean on this Elba Island. There wasn’t much to see there, just killing time before we were heading back to Capoliveri for dinner. Here Giorgio and I grabbed an aperativo whilst the other ladies checked out the rest of the main street. We eventually made our way down an old cobbled street to a restaurant that seats less than 20 people called Lo Sgarbo. Luca, the winemaker of Tenute di Ripalte was eating with us and once he joined the gang we ordered away! I chose well and for antipasto had fresh tuna with a light soy sauce on a bed of salad, eaten with an 08 Greco di Tufo white wine from Campania. Poi, for primo I got the tagliatelle white sauce pasta with black tartufo shavings on top. Bloody hell my nose was going crazy, the smell in that restaurant was unbelievable! For dolce, Greta and I went halvies and shared the chocolate and chilli cake, and castagnaccio – a thin cake made from Castagna flour, then you put pinenuts and rosemary on top…weird but delicious.
Back at the ranch we all climbed into bed after a long day of sightseeing and just as I was about to knock off to dreamland the door burst open and two people jumped into the bed between Greta and I! I heard the voice of one and realised it was my boss Giorgio and started laughing then called out for his daughter Camila as I thought it’d be her, but it was Francesca! We had a giggle then they jumped off, Giorgio in his undies…a very funny sight indeed!
We all took the extra hour that the loss of daylight savings gave us and slept in! After I awoke I prepared pancake batter for like the first time in my life thanks to the recipe mum sent me and whipped up a banana concoction too that worked a treat on top of some nutella spread.
Today we checked out all the villa’s as part of the Costa dei Gabbiani resort then drove along the more isolated part of the southern coast to a part where there were some private boats anchored in the bright blue sea with perfect rocky shores.
We stopped by one in particular and I wadded my feet in the water. The weather today could not have been more perfect. Really warm, not windy. Just right…Kellogs just right. If I had my bathers with me I would have swam for sure! After a cruisy day of sightseeing again we caught the 3pm boat just in time again back to Piombino. It’d been a good weekend away and great to see a part of Italy that is normally reserved for Italian’s on holiday or Germans.