We are having the most beautiful winter here in Tuscany. The weather has generally been dry and sunny ever since New Years Day and at times the temperatures have been warm, up to 17 degrees. So the crocus and the mimosa are flowering and the air is filled with bird song on balmy afternoons.
Montecarlo is the other side of Pescia a few miles away from here. It is a small town on top of a hill, that occupies the plain of Lucca and was fortified to defend Lucca against the Florentines for many centuries. With its fortified walls and its small castle, and with its Olive tree-lined streets and pretty terraces is lovely at any time of the year. It is also the local centre for the wine industry with both its red and white wines gaining a very good reputation in recent years. We went to the Fattoria Cercetoio to buy some wine for my mother’s birthday. The farm is owned by Angelo who lived for many years in England running a very popular restaurant and now he runs this establishment set in its own gorgeous little valley a few miles down the road from Montecarlo. The house and land, pictured, is surrounded by vineyards, olive trees and fruit trees. Also there are many animals, including, a lovely tan donkey that supplies Angelo with the necessary manure to help with his vines.
Angelo showed us his wine sheds with the huge old wine barrrels for the fermentation and the bottling plant for filling the final produce. We brought a few bottles of white wine and a substantial greater quantity of red wine. We are bringing some of it back to the UK for mum’s party, so happy 80th birthday mother!!!