The average wine tourist is looking for more than a quick visit to a tasting room to sample a handful of wines. Today, experience is the buzzword and travelers are looking for something memorable. Just minutes from Florence, Tenuta di Capezzana has been offering agri-tourism packages for more than three decades. One might say that they are way out in front of the experiential trend. So Wine Tourist Magazine recently stopped by Capezzana to see what all the buzz is about.
the Capezzana Estate
Carmignano is the smallest Tuscan DOCG, but it is also one of the oldest. It is here that Capezzana wines have been made since the early 9th century. The estate and surrounding farmland was purchased by the Bonacossi family in the 1920s. The historic charm of the property has been preserved and a variety of options are available to visitors.
In addition to 195 acres of grapevines and 350 acres of olive trees, the estate includes a restaurant and wine bar, the village of Capezzana, a 16th-century Medicean villa and ancient wine cellars. From the postcard-perfect property, one can see the Florentine skyline with its stunning domed cathedral and Giotto’s bell tower. This view alone is worth the visit.
Our guide, Giulia, led us through the grounds. Her English was flawless and she interacted with the group throughout the tour as we were conducted through the grounds. Every aspect of the tour was expertly orchestrated.
Cellar tours are by appointment and include the history of Capezzana and the Medici Villa, a walk through the olive oil mill, and wine tasting. One can also dine at the restaurant and schedule accommodations in the farmhouse. The centerpiece and most highly regarded of the Capezzana experiences, however, is the culinary school.
The Tuscan Wine and Culinary Experience
In the late 1980s, Countess Lisa Contini Bonacossi established a 'wine and culinary center' on the Capezzana estate. The project goal was to educate guests on the Tuscan culinary tradition and subsequently met with such success that it became a regional benchmark. Later Bonacassi generations have continued to expand on the program and offer one-day or week-long courses.
Chef Patrizio Cirri has been with the family since the culinary center opened its doors. He was on hand during our visit demonstrating cooking techniques and soliciting participation. Some of the ingredients were prepared in advance, the five members of our small group assisted throughout the process using local ingredients along with olive oil and wine from the estate. In short, every aspect of the experience was efficient, expertly organized and fun.
I am confident that only a few of the world’s wine estates can approximate the level of professional, informative experience that we encountered at Capezzana. More than a millennia of wine production and decades of honing the culinary program certainly give them an edge.
Award winning Vin Santo: “This Carmignano D.O.C. is a superb dessert and ‘meditation’ wine. It is made from a careful selection of grapes, mainly Trebbiano, from among the most mature vines in Albo del Carmignano.” (http://www.capezzana.it/index.php/en/prodotti-olio-vino-vinsanto-capezzana-en)
To book a tour: http://www.capezzana.it/index.php/en/