There’s Italy, which is wonderful. And then there’s the Italy of Cuvée’s Experience Curator, Francesco Barone, which is spectacular. Allow Francesco to curate an autumnal adventure for you and you’ll understand why it’s his very favorite season in Italy.
My Favorite Season: Autumn
When you visit us during autumn, the vineyards and woods are aglow with every fiery shade, and the afternoons are bathed in golden light. After basking in the colors of the landscape, I enjoy the warmth of the wood-burning fireplaces in Cuvée’s Gaiole farmhouse, a rare blend of restored elegance and sophisticated contemporary design, and a perfectly natural place to unwind and enjoy this beautiful corner of the world.
The Best Views in Tuscany
The most sensational view you can imagine is looking down at the Chianti region, an area that encompasses Florence and Siena, as your private helicopter travels across the Italian sky. It’s a brilliant and beautiful landscape, with vineyards and olive groves that alternate with each other, creating fantastic designs and lines. Landing on the private helipad of Tenuta Torciano Winery, founded in 1720, you’ll experience firsthand Tuscany’s true agricultural heritage at an intimate tasting with Pierluigi Giachi, who now owns the operation run by his family for 15 generations.
One of My Favorite Tuscan Winemakers
The first winemaker in Italy to sell wine directly to the consumer, Giachi is an expert at embracing technology without sacrificing tradition. After a winery and vineyard tour, including a ten-wine vertical tasting and educative session of private reserve wines from 1995-1997, you sit down to a four-course regional truffle-infused menu, during which Pierluigi shares the intimate secrets of his wines, explaining what foods make the pairings, as well as demystifying proper glassware protocol.
Francesco’s Tuscan Cuisine
One of Francesco’s true passions is sharing the diverse food arts of Tuscany, known for its long culinary history. On a tasting tour through the Chianti hillside, he’ll start you off with an extra virgin olive oil sampling at one of the last family farms in Tuscany to use ancient techniques and time-honored equipment, and a visit to a local sheep farm to explore the cheese-making lab, followed by an intimate tasting of artisanal cheeses paired with organic honey, bread, and wine.
But Francesco’s Tuscany isn’t only about long-standing traditions. He’ll also give you a behind-the-scenes look at the region’s booming modern craft brewing scene, with artisans and entrepreneurs creating recipes that utilize local organic specialties like chestnuts and native grain from the area’s farmers.
The Vintage Fiat Adventure
Another of Francesco’s favorites is our Vintage Fiat 500 adventure. This small sporty car was designed by Dante Giacosa, known as the man who made Fiat what it is today. Since introduced in 1957, the cinquecento has become an icon of Italian life, at home on the narrow cobblestone city streets as well as cypress tree-lined roads. Get between the wheel and follow along on a tour of ancient Chianti castles, Mona Lisa’s original house, rustic vineyards, exploring the rich land around Cuvee’s farmhouse.
Our Cuvée Pizza Making Class
You don’t want to leave without gathering together on the farmhouse outdoor terrace for a pizza session. Pick your topping ingredients from the estate’s organic garden, sink your hands into the dough and shape the pizza, getting it ready to slide into the wood burning oven.
Since pizza baking is a dynamic process, in which the oven door stays open, you can watch as it heats, emerging lightly charred and perfectly chewy with that unique smoky flavor. La dolce vita, indeed.