By Julia Diakow
Tuscany, an incredible region no stranger to compliments on its beauty, tranquility, culture and artistic legacy. Bathed in beautiful sunlight, rows of vineyards and cobblestone villages, it is no wonder so many come here to enjoy the true meaning of Dulce Vita. One will find enchanting hamlets peppered along the countryside with locals eager to show off their incredible spoils to you.
Our home for the week, perched high above a century old olive farm, greeted us with the intoxicating scent of blooming jasmine flowers and fig trees. Toscana, oh the views, the views and the grapes. As the sun begins to set, we were sat, staring agape at the hillside landscape from our Tuscan villa. Fireflies alit the calm orchard stroll after a day spent roaming the vineyards of Chianti and Multelpulciano.
On the weekends, a neighboring town, Fiesole holds a market worth exploring, with obscure vintage liqueurs, jewelry and passed down trinkets. Although it can be crammed with tourists, it fails to lose its small town Italian charm. One may choose to dine on high end tasting plates or may be swayed to enjoy one of its many rustic family run restaurants.
Bombing down the A1, narrowly avoiding weaving Italian drivers in Ferraris and Lamborghinis, we arrived in the idyllic town of Panzano. Lunch was spent beneath a fig grove; enjoying apricot scented white wines, aubergine, and pecorino and pear along with sprawling views of the nearest towns.
With an extremely gluttonous to do list in Tuscany, a visit to Dario Cecchini’s famous butcher shop was at the top. Dario, an eighth generation born butcher, has a reputation preceding him for not only his cuts of meat but highly charismatic personality. We were greeted with hugs and an overflowing glass of Chianti as we strolled through the entrance of the touted Antica Macelleria Cecchini. Within minutes, we were feasting on artisanal cheese and bread lathered with olive oil as we surveyed the counter. Wishing we could have spent the remaining day with Dario, we settled instead for diving into some of his sublime pork tunno back at our house in Rosano.
45 ml Campo de Encanto Grand & Noble Pisco
15 ml Okanagan Spirits Poire Williams Eau de Vie
15 ml Vin Santo
3 dashes Apothecary Mystic Caravan Smokey Pear Bitters
Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass, stir over ice until diluted, strain into chilled coupe glass. Garnish with pecorino cheese & pear