Yesterday was Sunday, November 16 and there was a festival called Cantine Aperte a San Martino or Cellars open for St. Martin. We had gotten a brochure with the participating wineries and a map from a winery we visited last week. It was organized by Movimento Turismo del Vino Umbria. We had planned to visit one or two wineries and then have lunch and then maybe visit another.
The weather was threatening. The first place we went was just south of Perugia and it was closed (!) and it was supposed to be participating. So we headed south near Todi. This one was called Roccafiore. It was quite an operation. When we arrived it was raining and after going inside where they have a gourmet restaurant, spa and hotel, we found out they, too were not opening the Cantina because of the rain. Shoot. We called and made reservations for lunch and decided to try one more. This one was called Tenuta San Rocco – a cluster of confusing buildings and it was POURING rain. Finally we found their make-shift tasting area which was in a newish building with the bottling machines. The man was very friendly and there was another guy and a young woman there. They not only served us wines but also two breads, a sweet, nutty cookie, and hot bruschetta and then they roasted chestnuts on a little brazier right there on the floor!
Chestnuts in a cup.
One of the wines was the Vino Novello which is almost exactly like Beaujolais Nouveau from France. Very young and meant to be drunk right away. It was fresh and good. They explained that it was due to the St. Martin festival that they had olive oil, chestnuts, and new wine as it is the tradition. I found it all charming. They harvest everything by hand. At the end Dottoressa Grassini who is the owner and enologist came and met us. She also was very welcoming. All in all a very fun experience.
Off to lunch at Locanda Rovicciano in Castel Ritaldi. We found it in our Gambero Rosso Ristoranti d’Italia book. Excellent restaurant. We were seated in a room with a big fireplace. I bet it would be cozy in the winter. There were large Italian families dining and many children. It was fun watching them. The kids were pretty well behaved and could go outside and blow off steam while their parents ate and drank wine. The table in our room had four women and four men. The four men sat at the end of the table, then the four women all together, and then the kids. So strange. We would never seat ourselves like that in the States.
I had the quail eggs with white truffles. They were fried and place on top of toasted bread with shaved truffles. Yum!
Luther had Maltagliata which means “badly cut”. And it was very irregular. It had onions and bacon.
I had the spit roasted Quail for an entree and Luther had grilled lamb. He pronounced it the best lamb he’s had here. My Quail was tiny and crispy and smokey flavored and not too much food. It was wrapped in bacon and I am pretty sure roasted over a wood fire. Very Very good. My Quail.
Here is the sky just before we went into the restaurant. Spooky!
All in all a fun day. This coming week will see us moving into our own place, or so we hope. I finished unpacking what I could unpack so there are not so many boxes. We went shopping Saturday and bought a vacuum cleaner. A Dyson Animal. We hope that will help us keep up with the cat hair.