23 May 2007.
On Tuesday I went to visit a wine estate for a tour and a tasting. The destination was the region of Chianti Rufina and the Selvapiana estate to be exact. The plan was to go by train to Pontassieve and to walk to the estate and back. In retrospect this was a stupid decision, especially considering that I didn’t have a map. The way there was a bit difficult, as these country roads obviously have no sidewalks. I was a bit afraid of the trucks zooming by, but I was not going to let my fear stand between me and my wine.
Above all there was this tunnel I wouldn’t have dared to enter if it wasn’t for the advice of a gentleman who I approached to ask for directions. He was the first person I’ve met here in Italy with the stereotypical countryside dweller’s knack for storytelling. It was not enough for me to know the way to Selvapiana, but instead I needed to know about the other wine estates in the area as well, and also where the best wine of the region comes from (according to him it is from Selvapiana). It’s refreshing to know that just twenty minutes by train from Florence and its poseurs there are people like this.
Selvapiana itself was cool. It’s not a huge estate, which means there aren’t loads of visitors, which in turn means I got a private tour and tasting. Of all the Chianti subregions Rufina is perhaps the most interesting. It’s the smallest, and although the quality of the wines is apparently of equal level compared to Chianti Classico, Rufina remains a bit in the shadow of the Classico. For me this is just an added bonus because I always like to support the underdog. The wines themselves really are good, however.
Special thanks to Fabiola, who not only gave me the tour and taught me many new things about wine, but also gave me a ride back to the train station. Grazie!