Passion for Italy Travel had the special opportunity to host a Wine Class last week in collaboration with Italian Club of Tampa and our favorite winery in the hills of Chianti!

As you can see in other blogs and tour descriptions on our website, this Winery near San Gimignano has given us and our clients some of our most fun and flavorful memories in Italy!

When my husband and I were there in September, we mentioned to them that the Italian Club in Tampa would be a great location for their travelling wine school!  Sure enough, it was able to happen this year!

The Italian Club of Tampa is located in historic Ybor City, one of Tampa’s most vibrant cultural neighborhoods.

It was established in the 1880s to provide assistance and support to the families of Italian descendants, many from Sicily.

This year, they celebrate 100 years in the beautiful building that replaced the original one after a fire destroyed it.

Today, members and friends enjoy sharing Italian themed events like this fun filled wine school inside the building and around Tampa.

Letizia, niece of the wine maker arrived on Friday straight from Tuscany to share this experience with us!

I couldn’t help but smile as we were setting up and a Sicilian couple arrived.  They were speaking to each other in Italian like long lost friends.  It was lovely!

Once everyone arrived, Letizia had all of us laughing, tasting, and enjoying all the she had brought to us from Tuscany; products, flavors, and personality!

Beginning with the delightful Vernaccia di San Gimignano, and fruity chianti, she continued to the richer Super Tuscans and one of the best Brunello wines I’ve ever tasted.

As at the winery, the most charming part is learning not only about the flavors and techniques, but the family’s story.

Letizia brought all those stories to life for us as we felt like we were sitting around her family’s dinner table.

The Bartolomeo red wine is famous among anyone who’s ever tasted it… half because it’s fantastic, and half because the story is too!

Bartolomeo is the grandfather to many cousins of this family as well as this wine.

Letizia told us he had 18 children and is the only family member to have his picture on a bottle… unless someone else produces more!

She laughed along with us as she said maybe the grandmother deserved to be on the bottle with him!

Our evening concluded with a sip of Vin Beato and my husband’s homemade biscotti, in typical Tuscan fashion!

These wines are special.  You can taste the family’s love and care in the quality of each wine you sip.  They are not sold in stores, only directly from the family.

Letizia told me they must choose between quality and quantity, and for this family quality always wins.

So, as you feel you’ve been invited into the family to share their stories, you also have the secret to some of the best wines of Italy!

We highly recommend a visit to the winery!  And while you’re there, you just might be able to organize the same experience (ok, minus the gorgeous Tuscan hillside setting) at home to share with your loved ones!

Contact us to plan your trip to Tuscany!

Lindsay Sinko,

Passion for Italy Travel, USA