One of the classic dreams of an Italian experience is dining under the Tuscan sun or at sunset, one of the most stunning times of the day. There is something magical about the light, how it softens over the landscape, turning the colours of the vineyards, olive groves and old stone cottages into a warm hue for a postcard-perfect image. This region is also famed for its produce of wine, olive oil, meats, and cheese, plus seasonal fruits and vegetables to be indulged in at any time of year. And now, the collective talents of KM Zero Tours with EaTravel have joined forces to create a dining event to remember at Montrogoli in Chianti.
Maria and Tania are the brains and beauties behind EaTravel, a project dedicated to slow living, with unique events taking inspiration from nature plus the enjoyment of wine, food and travel. They have developed a number of gatherings worldwide, including their latest in Tuscany, to showcase the landscape and food, working with local producers to create a stunning Tuscan dinner with sommelier Caterina Tiurina to match the perfect wines to dishes. As Maria explains, the concept is to celebrate “travels around the table,” collaborating with small, organic, local producers and promoting them through their memorable evening events. A recent dinner with KM Zero Tours at their stunning country home, Montrogoli, in classic Chianti countryside was a dinner to remember. And one you, too, could enjoy.
Slow travel in Tuscan at Montrogoli in Chianti
KM Zero Tour is run by Arianna Cini and Alessio Di Genova, a qualified travel guide and sommelier, respectively; Arianna grew up on her family estate, Montrogoli, developing a passion for the land and its production from a young age. Her partner in life and love of food, Alessio, was born in Abruzzo but has lived in Tuscany for many years – six spent as a pastry chef in Bologna – before qualifying as a sommelier (passing all three levels) a knowledge today he shares with a cooking prowess, serving plates of incredible food over bottles of locally made wine.
With starters including local specialities Cecina Toscana (chickpea flatbread); carpaccio of zucchini with pine nuts, lemon and Parmigiano cheese; Crostini Toscana (chicken liver pate); cheesy and indulgent Carboncino delle Langhe cooked in the oven until melting; warm pecorino with chestnut honey; pecorino with saffron and pepper. The pasta dish of gnudi Toscani, plump dumplings of spinach and ricotta cheese lightly coated in sage butter sauce, fills plates oozing in the sauce before a gluten-free cheesecake with black cherry marmalade is presented. We skipped the meat dish as the weather was so hot, and by this stage, we were happily full on the various plates already offered. And then there was the wine – ten varieties, including vintage bottles served by Alessio with a focus on reds, which this Chianti region is renowned for from a young Chianti Classico to 1995 Riserva, the quality and care to food paired for enjoyment is paramount.
KM Zero Tours runs food and wine tours all year aimed at experiencing Tuscany from a local perspective, discovering the “life” of a product from farm to table. They believe in sustainable and slow tourism that supports and promotes local and authentic products and producers. From organic wine tastings to cheese-making lessons to slow-food cooking classes, their goal is for you to discover ancient traditions and the pleasure of being together at the same table, sharing stories and experiences.
EaTravel shares the same philosophy of organising workshops and events in Italy and South Africa. Maria says their events are created “for people who see food and a long table draped in a simple linen tablecloth and think that there′s a sort of magical beauty about it because we really do”. And having experienced such a dinner in stunning surrounds with local produce, there is a kind of magic created which many people, especially travellers, are looking for. Dining under the Tuscan sun has never been so accessible in such an intimate environment and is something you too can experience the next time you are in Tuscany.
For details on Montrogoli Chianti Holiday Home and KM Zero Tours, contact KM Zero Tours.