Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tuscany-Olive Oil Press and Winery

The day I spent in Tuscany was my absolute favorite. I could have stayed there for the rest of my life. I would love to live there one day.

*Forewarning: These pictures are grainy. It was difficult to get a good picture in the cellar because there was dust everywhere.*

On Sunday of our Florence weekend, we drove up into the hills for an Accidental Tourist adventure. Mila and Alex picked us up and drove us to the olive oil press and winery for the tour. We started with a tour of the gardens. The estate is owned by a wealthy family. The family owns a successful clothing company in Milan. They only come to the house once a year for their staff Christmas party. The maple tree shown below is a sign of wealth. Families would plant a large tree in their garden to prove they had money.
{pretty sure they have money if they can afford to use this house only once a year}

We then went through the process of making olive oil. We were given so many specifics so I will just give you the shortened version as I'm sure most of you aren't looking to make your own olive oil. The process starts outside (obviously) when the olives are brought in from the fields and weighed. They go down a huge pipe to the cellar under the house. In the cellar, the olives are cleaned, pressed, and made into olive oil. Alex told us how to tell the difference between good and bad olive oil by what information is on the bottle. It was incredible to see all the machinery. Most of it was fairly new but the rooms were so old. That's one of the things I loved most about Italy; there was so much history.

The estate also makes wine. We walked through that process and made our way into the wine cellar. 

If anyone watches Duck Dynasty, does this remind you of one of the episodes where they tried to make wine?

After the tour, we went to the wine tasting. Mila rents one of the small buildings next to the estate for these tastings. There is one large room with a ginormous wooden table in the middle. Mila has had this table in her family for four generations. We tried three different wines along with some bread.

The bread was my favorite part. They make the bread without salt, but then they pour salt on it when they serve it. The salt goes on first then the bread is drizzled with olive oil. It was so.good. I ate four pieces shamelessly.

This completed only half of our day. Next week, I'll be sharing about our hike and homemade meal. Make sure you come back! There's an incredible story from our hike that has to do with Einstein...

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