Tuscany is synonymous with wine, primarily Chianti and perhaps Montepulciano. I had imagined Tuscany to be confined to a small area, much like Napa or Sonoma. Having driven through certain parts of the Tuscan countryside, I was surprised to learn that the Tuscany region is a vast area, encompassing not only valleys, but mountains and coastline as well. Tuscany is actually a region, much like the state of California. It's pieced out into many townships and Chianti and Montepulciano would be examples.
I loved our experience at Capezzana not only because of the amazing wine and the warm welcome. It was also an entry into a culture so ancient, fascinating and intriguing. I am a sucker for stories and I'm glad that we were able to get a private tour of this lovely place.
Capezzana wine is excellent because they have a passion for it. All grapes are hand-picked and laid by hand on racks in a special room to dry. The cellars do not have artificial aeration or humidification. They rely on natural air circulating through windows and doors.
CAPEZZANA OLIVE OIL
We did not realize that Capezzana also produced olive oil. Olives were not in season yet when we arrived in May, but we were able to see the area where the olives were pitted and pressed. The olives are grown by farmers on land owned by the Bonacossis. In my understanding, the farmers don't pay for the land. In return, they cultivate these olives and hand-pick them when they are ready, then bring them to Capezzana to be pressed. The first press of these olives is what becomes extra virgin oil. Capezzana only keeps and bottles the first press and the rest of the presses belong to the farmers who grew the olives to do with it what they want.
Italian farmers in this area are possessive about their olive oil. They only want the oil from the olives they grew. We were told that they watch their own olives being pressed in fear that their neighbor's olives would contaminate theirs. That would be unacceptable. They would gather outside, in a stand-off almost, each boasting that theirs is the best olive oil. Oh, how I would have loved to witness that!
After the tour, we had tasting at Capezzana's enoteca called "La Vinsantaia" where we also stayed for lunch. The wines were excellent, but the food was, too!