Monday, September 17th

Today it’s grocery shopping in the morning followed by a winery visit later this afternoon.  So following breakfast we set out up the driveway to the main road and on to the Co-op in Montevarchi.

I should probably take a moment to describe the driveway.  This is no “two-car” driveway like in front of the garage at home.  Rather this is a one-lane 1.5 kilometer gravel road through a forest with, for most of the way, a cliff-face on one side and a drop-off on the other.  Periodically there is a slight widening in the road so a car can pull to one-side and an oncoming car can squeeze (and I emphasize squeeze) by on the other side.  During rainy periods little rivulets of water have carved our mini trenches across the road resulting in somewhat of a washboard.  Basically you never get out of 1st gear going up or down and one foot constantly covers the brake while the other covers the clutch.  I do have to say though that each trip gets easier as I learn the location of all the major bumps.

The Montevarchi Co-op is an experience in itself.  It is actually quite a large store but somehow the shoppers have figured out how to occupy the maximum amount of space with the minimum number of patrons.  True the store was reasonably busy but grocery carts parked across isles, pallets of product being stocked on the shelves parked in the middle of isles, people visiting in the middle of narrow walkways … all made navigating through the store very challenging.  At any rate we eventually found everything we were after and headed back home.


Mid-afternoon we left for Dievole Winery.  Dievole is just north of Siena near the town of Vagliagli.  It is one of the largest wineries in the region and includes a resort, restaurant and the winery.  The tour started with a taste of their Rosado at the bar then we embarked on the winery tour itself.  At several stops on the tour we tasted their Chianti, Chianti Classico  and the Brocatto (their Chianti Classico Riserva).

Barrel cellar

At each stop we paired the particular wine with some food to taste the difference without and with food.  It was a very interesting tour!  I have several cases of Dievole wines on order from Opimian and am especially looking forward to the Brocatto.

On the way home from Deivole we stopped for dinner at Osteria di Montegonzi.  Unfortunately the roof-top tables weren’t open so we sat in the cozy interior restaurant.  The food was extremely good and we enjoyed it with a bottle of Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico in anticipation of our Tuscan cooking course.


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