I would have liked to tell you about this wonderful experience sooner, but it really has been a hectic few days between work and university! Here I am finally here to tell you about the second leg of my Tuscan weekend and the company that perhaps made me fall in love the most. Maybe, I don't know, because it was really a wonderful experience and I thank Maddalena Mazzeschi for that. Podere Conca is a jewel set in the open-air museum that is Bolgheria place that deserves the respect of every winelover. Other than photos of asses in the air, even if they are of a certain depth. We are in an era where provocation is back in fashion and certain colleagues of mine dare to put shit on social media in the manner of Manzoni. No, I'm not talking about the one in The Betrothed, but rather about that artist-phenomenon who in 1961 sealed 90 cans and labelled them with the words "Artist's shit. 30g' and little more. He baptised them at 300g gold and voilat, the work of art was served. And in 2016 a collector paid for jar number 69 to the tune of one and a half times my house. Anyway, they like their shit photographed, so for me they are right, just as Manzoni was right.

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But let's get back to more pleasant and fragrant things like Podere Conca's garden vineyard. Podere Conca is an enchanted cottage with those three red windows so expressive and unique that they became a logo that I loved. I had never seen a vineyard as beautiful as the one surrounding the cottage. How much care and perfection, how much harmony between nature and the built environment!

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A friendship bound my maternal grandmother, Graziella Cedraschi, a prodigious and far-sighted woman, to Luciana Aloisi, mother of Livio and Giulia, the latter the wife of Nicolò Incisa della Rocchetta. From there began an exchange of affectionate love that continues today with other faces, other names. It was that love, therefore, that first directed my grandparents towards this land that in some places is linked to Africa, which so represented the fortunes and tragedies of Bolgheri's early protagonists.

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But above all began the attachment to those magical realms made of sanctified olive trees and vineyards that had become sacred: almost immortal. Love sealed contracts and prolonged our life in Tuscany. The house in Bolgheri became the playground of our childhood summers, the destination of our adolescent travels and the favourite place to experience the sun, which from Maremma became the globe of all worlds... above all, it was the theatre without a curtain of the most frank friendships.

Giovanni Gastel Jr

podere conca bolgheri wine tuscan wines

There are plants that look like sculptures, sacred too in these lands that tell the story of a place that has become immortal thanks to the work of these very special women and men. Yes, special, because guarding a jewel is normal, but creating it and making it so precious is only the work of enlightened minds. And I hope in time to be able to do the same with my words and my will to make them echo in the hearts of those who know how to love wine and food deeply.

podere conca bolgheri wine tuscan wines

After visiting the vineyards we came to the cellar, where I found these beautiful red tulip concrete barrels. I remember seeing them in so many wineries in Bordeaux, from Château Beychevelle to Château Kirwan, but in both they were grey. I love them, as I love wines that make a passage in concrete.

podere conca bolgheri wine tuscan wines

Podere Conca runs its vineyards and olive groves according to ancient traditions and organic farming. There is so much love and care in every detail and the scientific approach of Silvia Cirri, CEO of Podere Conca, is also and above all seen in the choices made in the cellar.

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This perfection cannot be accidental. And indeed the heart is her, Silvia Cirri, CEO and majority shareholder of this Bolgheri gem at the weekend and head of Anaesthesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care at the San Donato Group's Sant'Ambrogio Clinical Institute in Milan during the week. In the meantime, she has also managed to found a non-profit organisation for children with heart disease in the world. I am simply admired. Silvia is not alone: with her there is a country gentleman his great friend Livio Aloisiwho before embracing this adventure worked in Bolgheri with his brother-in-law Nicolò Incisa della Rocchetta and his father Mario, producers of the famous Sassicaia. And then there is his nephew Giovanni Gastel Jralso granddaughter of the famous photographer and director Luchino Visconti. Silvia's daughter, Virginia Archinto Rocca Saporiti not only has an important name among the families of the Milanese nobility, she is also the Content Producer Manager for Bulgari and looks after the image for Podere Conca. And Livio's daughter, Flavia Aloisia beautiful woman who in this photo is between Silvia and my husband Francesco. Finally Manuela Gastel, wife of Giovanni Gastel Jr, is in charge of foreign trade. In short, Podere Conca is the story of a great friendship, that of Silvia Cirri and Livio Aloisi and their families intertwining.

Then there are the collaborators, among whom are Linda Franceschi, agronomist e Simonetta Carboneschi, the chef cuddling Silvia when she went down to the basement... and she cuddled us too!

podere conca bolgheri wine tuscan wines

After the visit to the cellar we went back to the cottage for lunch and the pool was making me long for it... I'm spoilt by now, in the residence where I live we have a wonderful pool overlooking the lake and I now admit that I can't live without it. It's currently filling up because we changed the water and until Tuesday I'll have to resist jumping in!

podere conca bolgheri wine tuscan wines

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I know I have been saying this a lot lately, but the white wines that are convincing me the most - with a few rare exceptions - are those outside the lands normally dedicated to this type. And this is how Tuscany stands out in the firmament of Italian white wine and offers unexpected pearls. Elleboro is exactly that, with its decisive aromas in which the citrus and 'apricot' notes of the viognier meet the characteristic fragrances of the sauvignon and then blur into the butteriness of the chardonnay. Savoury to the right point, structured enough to give it great versatility in pairing. And like the Bolgheri red Agapanto, it costs too little for how good it is.

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Agapanto is a little gem of a Bolgheri wine and when I found out that it costs €18, I couldn't believe it. I have already told you about this extraordinary wine in this article a couple of months ago, when I paired it with a wonderful steak. I love it so much! It also went wonderfully with this main course and the vegetables in particular were delicious!

podere conca bolgheri wine tuscan wines

After a delicious lunch, to see a chocolate cheese cake arrive is a great joy! Then it was really delicious and I ate three slices. And I literally ate the whole thing! Fantastic! Very fresh cream and perfect chocolate ganache. A simple dessert executed to perfection. When will there be a passito wine to go with it? 😍

podere conca bolgheri wine tuscan wines

Many thanks to all these wonderful Women for giving me a wonderful birthday, in a garden vineyard, in my favourite colour and with my favourite dessert. Podere Conca is truly a jewel in the heart of Tuscan wines that deserves to be discovered by as many winelovers as possible.

Cheers 🍷

Chiara

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