May 8, 2006 - Italian Wedding Soup - Day 4

part 1 - Verrezzano

The chicken coop y our place.
A pubescent rooster tried like hell to wake us every morning, but we were usually... uh... sleeping too hard to wake up, even though we typically slept with the house doors wide open.

The morning saw a bus pick us up at the main villa and take us to Castello di Verrezzano - originally an Etruscan, then Roman settlement, claimed by the Verrazzano family in the 7th century.

There are records of a winery here dating back to the 12th century.

Wild boars gave the family their name. It means head of the boar.
(She didn't say it, but I wonder if it is more like 'pig-headed.')

I'm sure you understand why I found this sign amusing.
(Normally I have to pay to breed with wild boars!)

What a view!
(The landscape behind Jill is neat, too.)

Here it is again, unobstructed.

A map of the castle and winery grounds.

Where the magic happens.

The bigger barrels...

We wound through passages like this to the promised land (i.e. free wine).

The bottles laid down for the Verrazzano son, born in 1964.

Another batch from the 1970s. (No worries; I protected the bottles by not using a flash.)

Where they make their olive oils.

Drying hams - a thing of beauty.

The owner's private stash, reportedly including a bottle from the 1800s.

The tour, 6-course lunch, and wine/grappa tasting concluded, Nichola and I pose with Gino and our tour guide.

Later today, Siena!