7 September, 2017
2017 – Volterra Day 4 – Tenuta Monterosola Winery
Podere San Lorenzo is a lovely place to spend a week. A few more pictures of the property.
Our apartment is the small building in front to the left. The larger building in back was the original monastery.
Chefs picking tomatoes for tonight’s dinner.
While at Podere San Lorenzo we’ve met some very interesting people from all over the world and the US. One nice couple, Dewey and Margaret (we were chefs at the cooking class yesterday), had a free day today and we invited them along to join us. You know it’s going to be a relaxing day when your only destination is a winery. We had a great time together experiencing Monterosola.
Tenuta Monterosola wine and olive oil tasting.
The destination today was Tenuta (Estate) Monterosola Winery.
The biggest challenge of this visit was getting Google to cooperate with directions. I had printed them from home but was not satisfied with the map now that we’re here and know a little bit about the “lay of the land”. Dewey put the address into his car GPS but “not found” was the result, which was not the answer that we wanted. So we went out on a limb and just started driving towards what we thought was the right direction. We’re enjoying the company of our new friends and we’re not very far into our journey when we pass a sign that says Monterosola Winery. Wait just a minute! That’s it! Dewey made a U-turn and we were there!
The back story on this winery: Over two years ago I contacted Michele (pronounced Me-ka-lee) in anticipation of last year’s visit. So over time, we have been checking in with Michele and following this winery on Facebook. Michele has been very gracious in accommodating our visit to the winery, especially at this time while it is going through extensive renovations and expansion.
A little information from their website:
“MonteRosola was built in the 15th century, originally as a fortified outpost for the Castle of Pignano and later became the farmhouse of 3 or 4 families of farmers. The main products were olive oil, wine and wheat. That’s why it can be said that wine and oil have been produced in MonteRosola for about 600 years.”
We were given the grand tour of the estate from the vineyards to the olive groves. They make their own olive oil here too (be still my heart – it can’t get much better than this!). Michele and Bengt gave us the history of the property and the plans for the future. They have converted the soil into organic cultivation, and are currently building a new gravitational eco-cellar. They are also building their own lake as a water reservoir, a totally new expansive complex where they will have olive oil processing, tasting rooms, event rooms, etc..
We saw the model mockup of the new facility – OMG! And now we are HAVE to return to see it completed.
Michele (on the left) is the Managing Director of the vineyard. Owner Bengt (on the right) telling us about the property and growth plans.
A side view of Bengt and Eva’s home from the outside. It is quite an estate that wraps around in a U-shape with a courtyard in the middle, and another patio on the other side of the house.
Courtyard in the middle. With the major renovations going on at the winery the tasting room is temporarily closed. The owners invited us inside their home where we had a tasting of their wines and olive oil. Wonderful wines, and olive oil that is magnificent!
They had a nice platter of meats and cheese for us to snack on during the tasting.
As a cook, I couldn’t help but snap a quick shot of the kitchen stove. I didn’t want to be too invasive by snapping away at the interior of this lovely home, but couldn’t resist the stove!Had to take a picture of their lawn mower (looks like a big roomba). Now that’s the way to mow if you have all this acreage! Ricardo wants one for his 3-minute mow front lawn. Ha ha.
Before we left Monterosola, we had to buy a bottle of wine and olive oil. Bengt would only sell us the wine if we promised not to open it for six more months as it needed a little more maturing. Does anyone want to take bets on if the wine makes it back to the US?
After 2 1/2 hours of walking around the estate, we’d built up quite an appetite. We exited the winery, turned right onto the highway and started discussing where the four of us wanted to go for lunch. Dewey was driving so technically he was in control but when we spotted a ristorante about 1/2 mile down the road by unanimous consensus we chose the place to have lunch. Thank you, Dewey, for backing up on the road to make the turn into the driveway.
Several of us ordered the wild boar pasta dish for lunch. Oh so good!
It was fun to introduce Margaret and Dewey to chocolate salami – a dessert that looks like salami but is really chocolate and bits of biscotti to make it look like salami. What was served today was good, but I have to say the chocolate salami that Antimo Cimino makes is better looking and tasting.
Back at the ranch, we ended our day watching the sun go down behind the golden hills, a glass of wine in hand (no we had not opened Monterosola’s wine….yet). We were so full from lunch we didn’t go out to dinner.
Dark clouds rolled in, then thunder and lightening – is there rain in our future?