May 6, 2013

Fattoria Corzano E Paterno, paradise visited in Tuscany

A one hundred and forty hectare farm, owned and operated by the Gelpke and Goldschmidt families and founded by the Swiss architect Wendelin Gelpke. The vineyards / farm is situated in San Casciano Val di Pesa, roughly halfway between Florence and Sienna and is dedicated to the production of fine quality wine, olive oil, sheep cheeses and 'agriturismo' or farm holiday guest house stays.

This somewhat remote, magnificent property is

Fattoria Corzano E Paterno. 

Watch the video here

As the Talking Heads have sung;
And you may find yourself in another part of the worldAnd you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile (our's was small)You may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wifeYou may ask yourself, "Well, how did I get here?"  
Arianna teaching us about Sheep Cheese
Singing along aside, we did ask ourselves, 'How did we get here?' Although with no real answer to the actual mechanics of getting there, the journey has two answers to the question. First off the Journey started in San Francisco when we attended a tasting of Italian wines through a Slowwine industry event with friend Sommelier Dave. Although there were some worthy wines there were only a couple that were on the path of travel for the upcoming #ItalyAdventure. A few e-mails later, and although Aljoscha would not be there, he arranged for us to get a tour and taste from his cousin Arianna. The second part of the how did we get here is still a mystery. The directions as far as us foreigners are concerned, was to say the least, vague. We were given directions from Silvio at Tuscany Cooking "see the white church on the fifth hill just to the right of the small tower, just follow the ridges and head there, its just down the road, you can't miss it". That statement must have been a subconsciousness challenge to get lost because, can't miss it, oh yes we can! The second were the website maps. Only marginally better, but somehow we arrived, although still not quite sure how, as there are no real signs and most of the road is like a two wheel wagon track driveway. However arrive we did, and it was worth every uncertain turn and back seat direction call we made.

Upon meeting Arianna we did not really hear the first few words she said to us, as we were memorized by her Italian / Irish accented English. Yes you read that correctly. After studying many years in Ireland she had picked up a bit of an Irish accent, that coupled with her Italian kept us totally focused. All that aside Arianna gave us a great tour of their new cheese and wine making facilities. The new facilities had been completed only recently and the modern finishes, although not having the character of the old buildings, will provide a more efficient and effective wine making facility. These new facilities are designed to make sure the goal of ever better wine and cheese, is not hampered by the limitations of old buildings. Off to one side of the new facility is the cheese making area. This small by our estimation area puts out a lot of top quality sheep cheese that is highly sort after.

After an interesting in depth tour of the facilities, Arianna took us back to the cellar door and put out a spread of the sheep cheese's, and guided us through a sampling of their wines. It is very different feeling tasting wine, sheep cheese and olive oil while surrounded by buildings and history that in some cases goes back to before 900 AD. To think that this property was at one point in time almost totally derelict, is a testament to the amount of work that has been done to make the place a fully functioning Agritourismo farm.The first wines of the current era were bottled in 1972. Today there are seventeen hectares of vineyard and produce more than 80.000 bottles of wine. Grape varieties run from the usual Chianti selection of Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Malvasia, Trebbiano, to the foreign varieties (for Italy) of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay.

Generous tasting of wine and cheese
We all enjoyed a great afternoon talking with Arianna about what had been, and what is to come for Fattoria Corzano E Paterno. The work that has been done to produce such world class wine, cheese and olive oil never ends. The drive and passion to continue to push the envelope to make them even better is stronger than ever. To give you a great glimpse into this is a year end news letter published on their web site. A fantastic document that will give you a snapshot of how much work is invested into this amazing property.

When in Tuscany make sure to make an appointment and go by and experience Fattoria Corzano E Paterno, we 'recommend' you do. Say g'day to Aljosh and Arianna for us. 



1 comment:

  1. I am glad you didn't miss it! It's one of the jewel of our area....


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