Ellen and I were reminiscing about our trip to Italy last year. It seems like yesterday! One of our favorite stops was the two day visit to Badia a Coltibuono. The history alone was worth the stay. One of the highlights was a visit to the “Abbey of Good Culture”, which was established in 1051 by Giovanni Gualberto, founder of the Vallombrosan order and patron saint of the foresters, rangers and parks. Many believe the Vallombrosans may have been the first to cultivate Sangiovese in Tuscany. The Abby is still in use today and includes a “wine resort” restaurant, culinary school, as well as several spectacular accommodations.
We enjoyed and received our diploma from the culinary school, which is know to be one of the oldest cooking schools in Chianti today. The restaurant on property was absolutely marvelous with fresh organic pasta and local specials like rabbit, lamb, poultry and succulent steaks. And then there were the wine tours and tastings. We did the works…historical reserve wines, great anti pasta and fresh bruschetta were all a part of the tour.
Their entry-level Chianti is very light and enjoyable while their Classic Reserve has a lot more flavor brought out by the barrel age. Then there is the Sangioveto, which is their tribute to a cultural tradition that dates back to the middle ages. The grapes were harvested in 2003 for the 2009 vintage. We just received our 2 six pack allocation for the year. The flavors are deep with blueberry and sage, dusty cedar, fresh leather and sweet tobacco. This wine is great to drink now or you can store and drink in 5 to 6 years.
Hope to see you in the wine shop where we’ll have a bottle of Chianti waiting for you.
The Wine Shop is open 10am to 7pm Monday through Saturday, and by appointment on Sunday. For more information visit the shop located just across the street from the Koloa Post Office, call 808-742-7305 or visit us online at www.thewineshopkauai.com.
See you soon at The Wine Shop!
Aloha, DanO and Ellen O’Connell