Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Fattoria Cercatoia Alta, Via Della Tinaia, Lucca

Fattoria Cercatoia Alta, Via Della Tinaia, Lucca
Tuesday 12 September, 2006

This was one of the most brilliant days of my entire trip....a 30 min bus ride from Lucca is the village of Montecarlo. Located here is a wonderful vineyard called Fattoria Cercatoia Alta owned & managed by Angelo & San (pictured above). They treated us to an entire day of food, wine and relaxation.

We arrived around 10.30am along the winding, narrow, dirt, pebbled road that led to an oasis. We could see the rows of olive trees and grape vines several kilometres back but it wasn't until we arrived that we realised just how beautiful this location was. We were treated to chilled white wine on arrival and a walk through the main part of the property where the guest house is, the huge BBQ area with stunning swimming pool, our covered lunch area and a short walk away the small farm with donkeys, chickens, turkeys and on beyond this the vines with chardonnay and shiraz grapes etc.

We drank our wine like it was nectar - the sun was incredibly hot, the sky a brilliant blue and the scenery just spectacular. We were invited to have a swim before lunch and walk up through the vineyards to speak with the workers (who had only started picking the grapes yesterday). We watched in awe as they sped through each line of vines stacking each basket high with grapes - when invited to try this we realised just how hard it was in the warm weather - bent over with large, heavy scissors cutting the best grapes off the vine and working up hill.

For lunch we were promised a traditional long lunch and when we finally finished at 4pm, we realised we had been eating and drinking solidly for about 4 hours - fine effort! We were served:

- Fava & beans in red wine
- Rice salad with parma ham
- Pickled green chillies and onions
- Fritatta
- Tuna & bean salad
- Panzanella (bread salad)
- Olives
- Bruschetta
- Biscotti with Nonno Angelo sweet wine
- Limonchello

It was a brilliant day and it ended with a tour of their cellars and an opportunity to taste some of their limited release wines - perfect!

Fattoria Cercatoia Alta - Via Della Tinaia, Lucca - 058322359



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