Le Macinaie Incoming

Tour Organazier - Vacanze nella Toscana del Sud


Food & Wine tours

The local "amiatino" cuisine has a boundless wealth. Fortunately, in recent years it has started an activity of discovery, study and enhancement of our products and our traditions. This has important quality seals, oil, chestnuts, mushrooms, truffles, and food and wine events.

Wines and olive oil, chestnuts and mushrooms, honey and truffles, cheeses, buiscuits and cakes, Sienese pork...

Descending from Monte Amiata’s summit towards the valleys, fresh mushrooms are to be found, and a little lower, in certain places, truffles. Reaching the chestnut belt, in autumn a riot of colours sets off the highly prized chestnuts.While today chestnuts are a valuable product, for many centuries they were the sole source of food for the people of the mountain: now there is an association which protects the chestnuts.There are many varieties, but only 3, the Marrone, the Cecio and the Bastarda Rossa can claim IGP Castagna di Monte Amiata status.

The flour obtained by drying the chestnuts in specially constructed buildings and then grinding them, is used to make a wide variety of sweet and savoury local dishes.It is possible to go all along the seven stretches of the “Chestnut Way” as it winds through chestnut woods many centuries old, and old fortified medieval towns. Below the towns the country is full of the olive trees from which the precious oilis made. Standing out above all the rest is the indigenous “Olivastra Seggianese”, which has DOP certification status.Traditional pressing with huge stone millwheels can still be seen at the Camarri Frantoio (press) in Arcidosso, and the very latest machines for pressing at the frantoio “Enolea” in Seggiano.

Characteristic farm houses are interesting to visit, particularly Podere Bugnanese in the country outside Seggiano. Lower still is the wine growing area.Amiata is the centre of an area ideally suited for wine growing:to the north Brunello of Montalcino, and Castello Banfi, one of the most interesting estates in the world; to the east the Vino Nobile of Montepulciano; south the Morellino of Scansanoand the Bianco of Pitigliano;and west, the vines from the Montecucco area which fan out over the mountain’s lower slopes. Superb quality wines with the rich flavours of the Sangiovese grape which is indigenous to the area.The Perazzeta estate, owned by Alessandro who has done a wonderful job, is the one we visit and to which we often refer.

A little higher, again outside Seggiano, there is another great wine producing estate, the Castello di Potentino.Here Charlotte Greene has created the “Sacromonte” (the sacred mountain), an extremely interesting wine made from Sangiovese grapes.It is also fascinating to visit the castle itself. But Amiata also produces great sheep’s cheeses, matured in different ways.To illustrate this we visit the Pinzi Pinzutiestate near Abbadia San Salvatore. A particular type of pig, the Cinta Senese,said to be indigenous, is also reared around here and is responsible for the wonderful quality of meat which is then turned into hams, sausages and salamis, in the pork butchers. We take our guests to the Salumificio Bonelli in Castel del Piano to see how this is done. The vigorous vegetation in the area favours bees and the production of honey. Lastly, baked products such as the savoury biscuits from Roccalbegna DOP.Fabbiano Flamini, who works in Semproniano is undoubtedly the king of cake and sweet making.

In Castel del Piano there is “Corsini Biscotti”, a small scale family business whose products are to be found in the shops all overthe area, and we take our gests there to see and sample what they offer. All this means that here regional dishes are carefully prepared from the freshestlocal ingredients. The numerous restaurants prepare dishes that jealously preserve the old ingredients: soups like Acqua Cotta, zuppa di funghi, il buglione; home made pastas, like tortelli (stuffed with different fillings using unusual combinations of ingredients) pici, tagliatelle, pappardelle and maccheroni. Main courses are prepared from the Cinta senese pigs, Chianina and Maremmana cattle: all are indigenous, tasty and their quality is guaranteed! The salamis are outstanding thanks to the extraordinary tradition of production.Among the cheeses “Ravaggiolo” is particularly noteworthy. 

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