Tuesday, November 11, 2008

FUN AT LA FATTORIA DEL GELSO - LUNCH IN MONTEFALCO

During our day of wine tasting with friends Bill and Suzy we stopped for lunch in Montefalco, the epicenter of all things SAGRANTINO. As we pulled into Montefalco, a charming medieval walled city, we could see that the weekly market was just ending. We walked past a porchetta truck, and for me, a porchetta sandwich would have been more than fine for lunch...but of course Bill and Suzy had made other arrangements.

We made our way up the hill into Montefalco, passing the beautiful PARDI LINENS along the way.
Montefalco also has a store selling objects made from olive wood....salad bowls and serving pieices, decorative accessories, even jewlery, and I love every one of them! I recommend both of these as options to everyone who's visiting Italy and looking for a unique souvenier. Both the linens and the olive wood are uniquely Umbrian, weigh very little, and are unbreakable...what a winning combination!

Once we were up in the main square of Montefalco we crossed to the tiny little enoteca/restaurant L'ALCHIMISTA. Because we'd hadn't been able to coordinate schedules with the TABARRINI winery, we would enjoy their wines with our lunch - really a much better way to taste any wine in my opinion.
Bill and Suzy selected our menu, meaning that we didn't have to grapple with that tough decision. Antipasti was simple - bruschetta with various toppings, followed by several pasta dishes, and I have to pat myself on the back here. One of the pasta dishes, made with regular and spinach taglietelle also had pigeon, which is something I've never eaten before. It's fairly common here in Umbria, so I gave it a taste, and honestly, if you had asked me what was in it, I would never have guessed pigeon - and yes, it was delicious!

As you might imagine, the wine flowed, the food kept coming and the conversation was interesting. We all agreed that the TABARRINI wine was delicious. Had we been at the winery I'm certain we would have come away loaded down with cases of wine...maybe next time!

After lunch we visited the Paolo Bea winery where our outgoing host showed us through his work-in-progress, a brand new cantina for making his wine. Although still very much a construction site, we did learn about the passion each winemaker brings to his craft, and the very specific ideas each one has about what makes the perfect wine.

Our tasting at Paolo Bea came with plenty of food, which was a nice touch. Everything was made by mama, and the chicken liver pate was fabulous...and I'm not even a big fan of chicken liver pate! If we had it to do over, I'd recommend that the Paolo Bea winery would have been better in the morning when we weren't all quite so full. Everyone else in our group seemed to somehow manage to eat one more meal, taste one more wine, so maybe I'm just not the trooper I thought I was! All in all, our day in and around Montefalco was one to be remembered. We never did make it to the ANTONELLI winery, but there's always next time!

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5 Comments :

At 11/11/2008 07:06:00 PM , Blogger Jane said...

Barb, we had a great lunch at L'alchimist last summer when we were at Mary's. I'd go back in a heartbeat--maybe next summer.

 
At 11/12/2008 10:15:00 AM , Anonymous janie said...

I was intrigued by the shops selling all the olivewood when we visited here-now I wish I had bought more!

 
At 11/13/2008 09:42:00 PM , Blogger Sandrac said...

Sounds like a wonderful day, I thought Montefalco was so beautiful and loved L'Alchimista!

 
At 11/17/2008 12:17:00 AM , Anonymous Heidi Shaker Luna said...

Hi Barb,

I love your blog! I love Italy and have been subscribing to your posts... Last Christmas my husband and I rented a small apartment in Trevi for the week and explored all around the area. We went to the same linen shop and also had lunch at L'alchimista. We ventured out to Ciccolo and Antonelli wineries and loved the Grechetto! I enjoy reading all about your experiences - we hope to retire it Italy one day too!

 
At 11/17/2008 12:19:00 AM , Anonymous Heidi Shaker Luna said...

Hi Barb,

I love your blog! I love Italy and have been subscribing to your posts... Last Christmas my husband and I rented a small apartment in Trevi for the week and explored all around the area. We went to the same linen shop and also had lunch at L'alchimista. We ventured out to Ciccolo and Antonelli wineries and loved the Grechetto! I enjoy reading all about your experiences - we hope to retire it Italy one day too!

 

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