Archive for November, 2013

November 25, 2013

Wine Maker for a Day in Chianti

A ‘WOW’ experience in the heart of Tuscany! Spend the day with a top notch wine maker in his Chianti cellar tasting and blending your very own personal vintage. The barriques of Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gamay, and Syrah that you will use for blending your wine, come from the vines on the 150 acre estate. Your local oenologist will coach and guide you, with his 20 plus years experience, to assure a memorable wine. After a lunch break in this historic castle, you will bottle the wine which will be delivered to your home two months later. Of course, you will have designed your own personal label for your private bottling.

Though I did not have a full day to blend my own vintage, I can assure you that my recent tour of this historic Chianti winery, followed by an intimate wine-paired five course lunch, was one of my most memorable Tuscany experiences.

Aside from having your own personal vintage wine, adorned with your unique label, the opportunity to understand the blending process with an expert is a very special event !

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November 11, 2013

Sicily’s World-Class Resort – VERDURA

Verdura Golf and Spa Resort located on the scenic northwest coast of Sicily is an ideal destination to chill out from the the hustle bustle of Palermo. This low-rise Rocco Forte resort is on more than 500 acres with an extensive private beach. Most rooms have sea views, due to the low-rise buildings and expansive grounds. The resort boasts 45 holes of golf and I can attest to the fact that the course is championship quality, having recently played the North Course.
Dining options are plentiful and each offer a unique atmosphere with both indoor and al fresco options. The Verdura guest rooms are exceptionally large and all have either a balcony or terrace.
For the non-golfers, Verdura has a tennis center with 6 lighted courts, allowing night time play, an enormous infinity pool, an extensive spa with another swim pool, a series of thalasso treatment pools, a gym, and sauna. For the beach goers, all the chaises, umbrellas, towels, water sports equipment, and beach front restaurant make for an ideal day at the beach. Complimentary bicycles are all over the property, just waiting for guests to snag one for use during their stay, which I thought was a very nice touch.

To my surprise, there is a dedicated children’s center, proof that Verdura welcomes families.

Want a diversion, about 30 minutes south of Verdura is one of the best preserved Greek Temples in the world at Agrigento…The Valley of the Temples. Not to be missed is an excellent Archeological Museum, with well displayed artifacts found during the excavations.

After a few days at Verdura, one can drive along the southern coast to Siracusa, preferably with a few overnights inland and then up to Taormina before departing from Catania.

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