Tuscany Trip 2017

One of the highlights of our apprentices’ journey is their trip to Tuscany, courtesy of Liberty wines. The annual trip provides the apprentices with the opportunity to visit some of our wonderful suppliers who have become close friends and supply us with their speciality Italian wines and produce.

They were joined by Charlie and Karl from the Cornwall Food Foundation, Elly our Head Sommelier and Tracy Paige from Cornwall College.

Their first stop was the Grand Villa of Petrolo where they received a warm welcome from Luca and Rocco Sanjust. Luca is the 4th generation in his family producing fine wines, organic extra virgin olive oil and offering beautiful villas for rental in the Tuscan countryside. Petrolo is set over 272 hectares in the Val d’Arno Superiore among the hills of the Chianti Colli Aretini, an area bordering the south-eastern part of Chianti Classico. The apprentices visited the local market and used the produce they’d gathered to cook dinner for their hosts before retiring for the evening. The next day, they had a tour of the winery, climbed to the top of the tower at the estate and enjoyed a wine tasting.

Their next stop was to the legendary Dario Checchini’s butchery and restaurant. Dario is an incredibly passionate man, who strives to be a ‘responsible carnivore’. By this he means that each animal is cared for and looked after, and treated with a humane slaughter. He uses a nose to tail approach, so there is no waste which is an ethos we also practice at Fifteen Cornwall. In Dario’s restaurant the apprentices had the opportunity to try many different parts of the whole animal while Dario demonstrated butchery at the same time. Over the course of the lunch they worked their way around the various section of the cow from cheeks to trotters which was a unique and educational experience.

After lunch they visited Fontodi which is located in the heart of Chianti Classico. Fontodi has belonged to the Manetti family since 1968. The wine process takes place in a modern cellar which is built on descending levels to take advantage of gravity, ensuring they get the best possible natural product from the grapes they use. After a tour and some tasting, they headed out for dinner at a local trattoria before going to bed.

In the morning they headed off to their final stop at the beautiful Capezzana. The vineyard is owned and run by the Contini Bonacossi family and has been since the beginning of the twentieth century. The estate has 670 hectares with approximately one hundred vineyards and one hundred and forty olive groves. Capezzana is situated in northern Tuscany, in the commune of Carmingnano in the province of Prato, 20 km from Florence.

After their tour of the cellar and the ‘vinsantaia’ (where the Vin Santo is made), they headed back to the cook school for a demo from their chef and joined in the cooking to make their own lunch which was washed down with some delicious wines. This rounded off their trip before flying home.

Thank you so much to everyone involved, particularly Liberty Wines without whom, this trip would not be possible.

Come and see three of our apprentices this Friday 8 December at Padstow Christmas Festival where they’re be doing be demonstration alongside Training and Development Chef, Karl Jones.

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