Even though I certainly have sampled plenty of wine from the area surrounding Lucca, I had never actually visited the wine growing region of Montecarlo, about seven miles outside of town.
It was a clear and sunny and for the first time in days it was warm. The drive up to the winery was lined with umbrella pines and as pulled around the corner we passed fields of vines bordered with roses.
We were greeted at the door to the winery and led inside by Massimo for our private tour.
The winery produces a variety of reds, a white, and a sparkling wine, but what they are really known for is their Vin Santo, the well known dessert wine of the Tuscan region.
We climbed up to the second floor where the grapes for the Vin Santo are dried on racks made of bamboo. The finished product is then stored in barrels and aged, some of it for years.
After touring the building we followed Massimo downstairs to the cellar for our wine tasting. We sampled four wines while nibbling on bruschetta, grilled polenta with toppings, various cheeses, salami, picked vegetables and pappa al pomodoro-a classic Tuscan dish made with tomatoes and stale bread.
The last course we had was cantucci, Tuscan biscotti served for dipping in their prized Vin Santo.
Unfortunately the wines from Fattoria del Teso don’t make it to the US, but if you’re in Lucca you can find them in the wine shops or in the local grocery store.