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VINO ROSSO AND RED POPPY - Tuscany 2018 - Part 3: Cypress trees, rolling hills and Poderes

Andrea | 11.07.2018 | | Italy

When you see a photo with these plants on it, it is almost always a picture from this Tuscany. Because without cypresses and pines, Tuscany would not be Tuscany, right ?! We once tried to see if there is a kind of basic pattern, in which places in which form the Italians usually plant these adaptable and drought-resistant trees in this landscape. It is called by the way Mediterranean Cypress (Cupressus Sempervirens) or also Column Cypress or Real Cypress. Because of its beautiful growth it is often grown as ornamental woodland in gardens and parks. It is the characteristic tree of Mediterranean landscapes, especially oft theTuscany. Already the Romans planted the species as a windbreak. So you can find them as a right and left border of dusty roads and paths, driveways to wineries, inns (agritourismo) and mansions. Or the cypresses are often ordered in some houses almost geometrically (for example as a square or rectangle.) In any case they are found almost only where people live or work.

 

The second Tuscan phenomenon are the omnipresent vineyards. Or the fantastic wine: Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Montepulciano are few (but perhaps the best known) from this huge selection. Imagine, you sit comfortably on the sun terrace of a small restaurant in a small town and let you bring the wine list. And then you are confronted with over 500 different wine offers - even at reasonably affordable prices. From each winery or very small locations there are listed wines. And not, as usual, only one vintage per wine. No, there are the vintages 1995, 1998, 2004, 2005 to 2018 !! Incomprehensible! And they are delicious, oh my god!

Plus the Tuscan olive oil with that special taste. The gold of the south: Strong-intense and a little scratchy. Almost everyone produces his own olive oil. There is the oil from the hills of Chianti, the oil of the area around Lucca, the hills around Florence, the Maremma and many more. Each has its peculiarities in aroma, fragrance, color - and of course taste. If the oil comes from Livorno or Siena, it is considered to be particularly high quality. In Tuscany the harvest is still mostly traditional. The half-ripe fruit is picked by hand or stripped from the branches with a kind of coarse comb and collected in very tight-meshed nets. Because only if healthy and uninjured fruits reach the oil mill as quickly as possible, can a high-quality olive oil be pressed out of it. Oil is made primarily out of the smaller olives because they contain less water and more oil. The larger fruits are better for drying or pickling, but are also processed during cooking.

 

In Tuscany olives of the varieties Frantoio, Razzo, Leccino, Morcone, Moraiolo, Ogliarola and Seggianese are cultivated. A medium-sized tree carries between 10 and 50 kilograms of olives and a skilled picker manages to produce an average of 35 to 50 kilograms a day. Due to the occasionally very cold winter in Tuscany, the harvest is not nearly as high as in more southern areas. However, the soil quality and careful harvesting methods ensure a particularly aromatic olive oil, which experts especially like. No wonder then, that most of the local oil is only available in the region and – some for exports. Tuscan olive oil is not cheap. The effort for cultivation, harvest and production is just too big to flog it at a bargain price.

 

Also wonderful were the red carpets better spoken fields of red poppy. The single blossom is not as big as in Germany, but there are so many here in Tuscany. Pizza, Spaghetti, Tiramisu - Can the Italians produce it in the right and delicious way? We believe that everyone has to try it out for themselves. You can find everything of any quality in Tuscany.

And here are a few tips and recommendations for spending nights or dinner in Tuscany for the inclined reader:

 

Casa Mac & Rose, Via Lippo Vanni 13, San Quirico d'Orcia, tel. +39 339 786 9741, http://www.casamacrose.it/home.html

Il Casolare di Libbiano, Località Libbiano 3, San Gimignano, tel. +39 349 870 6933, http://www.casolarelibbiano.it/en

Al Porto di Lucca B & B, Via Lorenzo Nottolini 10, Lucca, tel. +39 0583 53516, https://alportodilucca.com/index.html

Ristorante / Trattoria da Francesco, Corte Portici 13, Lucca, tel. +39 0583 418 049

Osteria / Pizzeria La Piccarda, Via della Certosa, 2, 53019 Ponte A Bozzone (only 3 km from Siena), http://ristorantepizzerialapiccarda.it,

tel. +39 0577 357 041

 

Since the Lardo di Colonnata there is really so wonderfully divinely described, in the next blog chapter but one for all those of you who are interested still an article from STERN ONLINE on this topic in (almost) full length to smile and to make mouth water. But you just have to read it. Of course, whoever is that too long can stop here ......


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