One of the important missions for our team in Italy is to explore and to experience the carefully-selected tour spots for our coming-up new projects. Thanks to our Italian friends from TipTop and Boscovivo, we’ve driven away from central Arezzo to the deepest mountain and countryside in Cortona. Tuscany sounds still unfamiliar to most of Asian tourists, not even to mention Cortona. Cortona is a small place in the south of Arezzo and our destination that day is Il Falconiere Resort, which is a huge resort by an amazing couple, Riccardo and Silvia, who’s the owner of Baracchi winery & Tuscan style chef and the famous Michelin chef of Il Falconiere.
Driving through the tiny lanes in the floral countryside, we’ve already so attracted to those beautiful and colourful flowers aside the roads. Parking at the foot of the whole resort, we’ve actually been surrounded by the winery and olive trees already. It was just an endless of fresh green in our sight.
The most iconic Tuscany feature – the lines of cypress trees, leads our way. Il Falconiere Resort actually is owned by Riccardo’s family since 6 to 7 generation ago (around 600 years ago). Can I call them landlord? All the stone houses there are all renovated and maintained based on the most historic style which shows the tradition and the history of this place and this family. The most stylish building is the Michelin restaurant owned and run by the wife and Michelin chef, Silvia. The restaurant is featured by Tuscany cuisine but of course, align with all Italian fine dining concept with an amazing terrace. In the terrace, you can have a 180 degree view of the whole Cortona, even the oldest town on the top of hill at far end. Imagine a romantic Tuscany dinner under the Tuscany sunset!
Going around in the resort, we were also introduced to the different functions of those old houses. Most of them nowadays has been changed to living rooms for the visitors and the staff. There are limited suit rooms open for booking in the peak vacation season there. Also, they have SPA facilities, combining Baracchi winery’s rich resource, a special wine SPA, is an absolute reality there!
When we were still amazed by those beautiful houses fully covered by the white flowers, the huge winery stepped into our sight. Right next to the parking area of helicopter (Yes, you can land there by helicopter service!), there is the “endless” grape yard, and at the outside circle, there are olive trees. Therefore, Baracchi winery actually not only produces high quality wine but also typical Tuscany style extra virgin olive oil.
Entering into the right-wing of the resort, we were impressed by the hidden swimming pool in the middle level of the hill where you can have the best view of the Cortona lands below. Right next to it, it is another housing area where part of the suit rooms are located but also a special cooking room, for cooking class. The Tuscany cuisine cooking class is taken place there, in this beautiful room which displays the most traditional Italian kitchen, and the very precious coffee machine. It is the first and the most historic coffee machine in Italy.
Secretly, the cellar and the production plant are hidden under the housing area. We’ve first introduced to the production plant, which a new batch of top quality prosecco is about to be labelled. As Riccardo, they are the first winemaker to produce this top quality prosecco which actually adopts Champagne-making method and uses the top quality grapes from their vineyard. Switching to the cellar, it is even more exciting. We were introduced not only the ageing prosecco (they are literally ageing in the bottle like Champagne) but also the very precious sweet wine – Vinsanto. Vinsanto is actually a kitchen treasure to most of Italian mama, and Italians will only give a small glass of top quality Vinsanto to their most welcomed guests in the past. Baracchi produces very limited Vinsanto as each bottle has to been aged over 10 years. What a long journey!
When we finished the whole walking tour, it was approaching to the lunch time. We returned to Il Falconiere as the last part of the tour was the tasting menu for us to try Tuscany truffle dishes. The menu includes the amazing made starter, meat stuffed pasta, dessert platter, and Baracchi’s wine. Ending with a glass of their best Vinsanto, speechless!
We really hope in the very near future, we can work out the whole project with all our Italian and Asian partners to bring you a totally different but the best Italian experience!
If you are interested in Il Falconiere and Baracchi Winery, you can send email to [email protected] for more details.