On the very first night of our honeymoon last October, the owners of the agriturismo we stayed at lit our room with candlelight and left a bottle of wine from the estate down the road in our room. We happily drank it, and it was so good we headed off to find the source.
Turns out that wine buffs amongst you may recognise the name - Castello di Nipozzano is owned by the Frescobaldi family. But whether you know the label or not, it's a lovely place to visit - tucked away on the hillsides above Florence with joyous views of rolling Tuscan countryside. They run frequent tours and tastings, or you can just wander round the shop and pick a few choice bottles before emerging again into the sunlight and the good life.
Nipozzano is about 25km east of Florence. The website isn't hugely helpful on visiting but try it: www.frescobaldi.it/en/home.htm
I'm a terrible cook and enrolled in a cooking course in Tuscany much to my husband's delight and I can honestly say I can now cook 'Italian' to a passable standard. I jumped on a mini bus in the centre of Florence at 9.30am and was driven just outside of the city centre into the beautiful green hills of Tuscany. We pulled up at a pretty Tuscan villa where we were introduced to our Italian chef. We got our aprons on and went outside to pick fresh herbs and veg from the gardens, the smells were amazing and the chef made me really think about the importance of using fresh produce for your cooking.
I learned to cook so many dishes and sauces, this course takes you well beyond the spaghetti bolognese. I can now cook a full three-course meal and many other side dishes to a passable quality. The wine flowed and the fact that it was produced from the vineyards in the grounds made it all taste so much better. I had a brilliant time and highly recommend it (so can my husband!). It's a brilliant add-on to a trip to Florence and I'll definitely go back for more lessons later in the year.
Pick up from Florence city centre at 9.30am, just 10 euros return which is well worth the money. Book it online, it's easy - everything works out brilliantly and you only have to pay a deposit.
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