The wedding is at a 700 year old winery in the Chianti region named Vignamaggio. For a wine to be called a Chianti wine, the grapes must be grown, processed and every step of the formation of the wine must be completed within the borders of the Chianti region.
The Chianti region is prime for the growing of the grapes because of many reasons. The soil is extremely nutrient rich, and the weather is warm enough, but not too warm because of the cool winds.
Global warming has even begun to affect this process. In the last hundred years, because of the warming, the alcohol content in Vignamaggio wines has risen from 12% to 13.5%, a huge jump. While in the short term this is great, it is a scary long term thought since the grapes need such delicate conditions to thrive.
Each grape is grown in different areas of the winery, depending on which area gets the best sunlight. Different grapes need different amounts of sunlight, care and maturing time and so each area is split up and different grapes never cross paths on the way to becoming wine.
The normal Vignamaggio wine is aged in wood barrels for a year. The barrels allow for air to slowly seep into the wine over time to help oxidize it.
The special Vignamaggio reserve wine is kept in smaller barrels in the back and aged for two years. The reserve wine is kept to such high standards that it is not even released during certain years if the conditions were not perfect.
Well water is still used, although the soil has such a great composition that it does not need to be irrigated. Different soil compositions help to add different notes of flavor to each wine, although my palette is not very refined. I am not very good at noticing 'plum' or 'white pepper' notes in the wines.
As part of the wedding, we all did an evening trip to Florence for the rehearsal dinner. Took a bunch of shots I liked so I thought I'd post them. Much more Tuscany Photos soon.
The shadow of the reproduction of Michaelangelo's David outside of the Uffizi
Through the window of one of the many jewelry shops on the Ponte Vecchio bridge.
So we've been in a villa and winery called Vignamaggio in the Chianti region for the past 3 days for Lia and Rob's wedding. The area is gorgeous and the wine and food are incredible. I've probably drank more wine in the last three days than I have in the past three years. Here's a few photos from the first day here. Haven't yet made a concerted effort to take a bunch of photos yet here, but wherever you go you get a great photo op. Will post more as I find the time.
Here are a last few scenic and people shots of Florence. Heading to the Chianti region and Siena for Lia's wedding. I expect to take more scenic photographs there.
Bikes are king here. Men and Women ride everywhere, in white pants and expensive shoes, most with sunglasses and satchels or purses put in a front basket.
So all of you have probably already seen the obligatory photos of Florence. The Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, etc. And the last time I was here I took them. Lots of them.
This time around I wanted to focus on something a little different. The people. The people of Florence are some of the most interesting and well dressed that I've ever seen. Florence is a mix of an old world city with a new world 5th avenue. Fashion is king here.
Oh, and there will still be a few obligatory Duomo photos here. Scenic Photographs at the end of this post.
Outside of the Uffizi
The Most Fashionable Man in the World (above)
Where else can you see a pizza advertisement sticking out of an enormous ancient door?
Let me tell you something, I am a joy to travel with. Not only do I have to carry around this 50+ pound backpack with cameras and lenses, as well as a satchel with a computer and a tripod slung alongside, but when I do get to leave most of this stuff at the hotel then I like to stop a lot to take photographs.
In 2007, when I first got this backpack (which has a nifty clasp on the back to hold a tripod) and was taking bags out of the trunk at the airport at 6:30 in the morning, I swung around and nailed my girlfriend Sara in the face with the tripod. We were headed to a large family gathering in Mexico. At least it was only a minor black eye.
(Between you and me, she totally ran into my tripod with her face.) It was 6:30 in the morning, can you blame her? Needless to say I now carry the tripod at my side for safety reasons.
So we're off to the airport in a few hours for a 2 week trip to Italy, with stops in Pisa, Florence, Siena, Greve (for a 4 day wedding extravaganza), Montalcino, Ferrara and Venice.
I hope to create posts daily with photos from the trip, but the frequency of the postings will be determined by when I can find internet connection.
Anyway, here's to no black eyes on the trip. Sara's the maid of honor so that would be kinda bad.
Thanks to Adam and Gani for this video. I always wondered what high powered people and companies were located in the Spire of the Chrysler Building. Turns out it's a dentist.
Anyway, here's a view from out one of those triangle windows in the spire. Incredible!