Ashley and I have both had a lifelong love of bike touring, and have had the good fortune to do tours in many awesome areas, including what is probably considered the world’s best in
. However, right there with France France is Italy, and since Ash had never been there before and her not only lives in Italy but owns a vineyard in we finally decided it was high time to take the steeds over and do our own Giro d’Italia. And for once we planned far enough ahead to not only get to use our frequent flier miles but more importantly get our great friends Tom Simonsen and Julia Roether to join us. Tuscany
It’s possible to spend weeks in Florence (indeed, even months; it was packed with exchange-program US college kids) but the tourist scene and foot/leg/back destroying standing and strolling on concrete didn’t sound nearly as appealing as re-mounting our steeds, so off into Tuscany we went. Greve-in-Chianti is the village where the vineyard was, and since it was only 30km from Florence Ash led us on a brilliantly circuituous route through (big!) rolling vineyard country to arrive at the vineyard late in the afternoon. Alberto, the CEO of Querciabella, had warned us on the phone of the road to the vineyard: “it’s steep, and there are rocks”. We had laughed and told each other that he didn’t know about all the climbing we had done and looked forward to a little zip up the last hill, but as it turned out, he was right: 15-20% grade on gravel for almost 2 miles! Once there, however, we were greeted as heroes and it wasn’t long before we were once again feasting and drinking the fruits of their labor.
The winery was in full harvest/wine making mode while we were there,
and we got a great tour of the facility in the morning. I always sorta struggle with wine; I like it, but so much of the industry smacks of pomposity, but to see a really cool little vineyard that is super-committed to “doing it right” – organic and as “pure” as possible – was really cool.