Written by Stacy Thomson for The Daily Telegraph
Quad bike wine tasting and a rock and roll butcher its all going on for Stacy Thomson, as well as relaxing by the pool in the Chianti hills of course.
Wine tasting isn’t the only thing that’ll keep you busy in Chianti
THE ROLLING HILLS of Tuscany’s ‘Chiantishire’ are of course wonderful for wine. But there’s a lot more to them than that, as I discovered when I stayed at Podere Brogi (I), a pretty villa sleeping10, with in vineyards, about 50km from both Siena and Florence.
Light, airy and luxurious without Skimping on homeliness, there is little reason to leave Podere Brogi’s beautiful poolside terrace, especially with private chefs available on request. Should you choose to, however, there is plenty to do, f rom Renaissance art tours to discount designer shopping and quad biking.
We kicked off with a trip to a nearby vineyard where we were guided through the winemaking process by an expert. The villa is also just 4km from the rustic Petrolo estate, a favorite with the Camerons, who know a fi ne, characterful wine when they drink one. It’s also noted for its olive oil and honey. A beautiful hour’s drive away through the hills, you’ll find II Paradiso di Frassina, the vineyard famous for playing growth-boosting Mozart concertos to its vines.
But man and woman cannot live by wine alone (Lord knows I’ve tried), especially when there’s a super-chic Prada outlet a IO-minute drive from the villa, offering up to 75 percent off previous season Prada and Miu Miu (top tip: get there early and take a ticket from the dispenser at the door without one you can’t buy anything).
We also tried quad-biking through Crazy Quad Toscana, a company that took us off-road, through the (steep) Tuscan hills, via the Petrolo estate, to lunch at a hidden gem, La Bottega di Duddova -a great way to see this exceptionally beautiful part of Italy.
One night we dined at Cecchini’s in sleepy Panzano about I5k m west of the villa. Injecting new energy into the already-legendary local food scene, m eat-mad butcher and restaurateur Dario Cecchini offers beef piled high on a raging grill, chefs wearing goggles like crazed scientists cooking to loud rock music and Dario himself bellowing out love songs to the cows as you eat.
Whatever you do, it’s a treat coming back to the shaded poolside loggia of Podere Brogi, the perfect place to sit with friends and sip a nice glass of, well, Chianti, obviously.-Stacey Thomson