Category: Italian Culture

Riccardo’s Italian Travel Diary

Gran Caffe Riccardo Balcony

Each month we will feature a different region visited by Riccardo Longo, Culinary & Wine Director at Gran Caffe L’Aquila

This month he takes you to Firenze the capital of the Tuscany region & the epicenter of the Italian Renaissance. 

While there he was invited by the Antinori Wine Family to tour their new 200 million dollar Chianti winery which is considered the most modern & technologically advanced in Italy. The impressive winery was built into one of the large hills in Chianti (The curvature of the hill is seen to the right of Riccardo in the Cavernous barrel storage area).

Gran Caffe Riccardo Barrel Room Blog

Antinori’s Vin Santo Barrel Aging Room

The smaller French oak barrels age Vin Santo wine for 4 years.

The main grape is Trebbiano with a hint of Malvasia.

The grapes undergo Appassimento (same basic process as making Amarone wine) where the grapes are aged half way to raisins and then pressed.

The result is a sweet, beautifully intergrated & intense dessert wine which is used in the authentic Tuscan dessert of Cantucci Vin Santo. It comes w/Almond biscotti which traditionally you dip in the Vin Santo to complete an authentic dinner in Tuscany. 

Gran Caffe Wine Blog

One of the beautiful wines sampled was the Tignanello Chianti Classico Riserva by Antinori.

 Featuring  90% Sangiovese grapes from the historic Tignanello Vineyard (Considered one of the regions Premier Vineyards) and 10% Cabernet.

The wine is aged 14 months in French Barrique. The result is an artful, elegant riserva Chianti with notes of  Frutti di Bosco, Vanilla, Spice w/a refined Plum-Mineral finish. 

Stay tuned for more of Riccardo’s Italy Adventures!

Grazie!

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