Living in Tuscany sometimes I almost feel like I know every corner, every cypress, I can name every single rolling hill, of our countryside, but suddenly this incredible region surprises me with a new foreshortening of beauty.
And that was the case when I visited Il Borro, Winery and Relais, a true piece of heaven, owned by Mr. Ferruccio Ferragamo and managed by his son Salvatore.
It includes 84 hectares of vineyards, the old and new cellar, beautiful gardens (and vegetable garden where the chef takes his vegetables for the restaurant), 38 suites in the main Borgo, 18 suites in the Aie del Borro (separate location few km from the main Borgo), 4 private Villas, 2 Restaurants, the infinity pool and the Spa.
Where it is located? Il Borro is located 20km from Arezzo and around 1 hour driving from Florence, in an area of the Tuscan countryside which is called Valdarno. I arrived from Montalcino and I can tell you that the drive, which is around 1 hour and 30 minutes, shows some of the most wonderful landscape views. I went through some of the most typical small villages of the Val d’Orcia: San Giovanni d’Asso, famous for its truffles and Montisi, a lovely hamlet surrounded by olive trees, to name two of them.
My wine journey started from the visit of the new and old cellar, very impressive with all the barriques resting in a religious silence. They have recently doubled their hectares of vineyards which are now 84, divided between Chardonnay, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. They produce 12 different labels, 10 wines and 2 Grappa. Our tasting took place inside the cellar in a very intimate room where the older vintages rest for their historical wine archive, it has been very extincting to taste their wine surrounded by all these old bottles.
Together with Chiara, from the communication team, which I have to thank a lot for her amazing hospitality, we tasted 4 of their wines, I will show you some of my notes below.
The first wine we tasted is Bolle di Borro, their sparkling wine made with 100% Sangiovese, please note that all their wines are certified organic. Sangiovese in classic method, usually I am not a big fan of bubbles made from Sangiovese but this bottle really surprised me for its finesse. The perlage was extremely delicate and the notes of small red fruits and red berries, together with a little bit of yeasty notes and tasted bread, were so intense that I think it would perfectly pair with a wide range of appetizer but also enjoyable by itself.
The second wine was the Lamelle, IGT Toscana 2019, their 100% Chardonnay. In the label you see the image of a big shell, which has been found when they were implanting the vines in that area. With the characteristic of a very mineral soil, this chardonnay had a lot of acidity and savory notes, a light body where every sip called for the next one.
Petruna, Val d’Arno di Sopra DOC, Sangiovese 100% aged in amphora. Chiara told me how Salvatore is particularly related to this wine because it is one of his personal experiments and a wine that he really wanted to add to their list. He travels a lot to promote Il Borro wines and during his wine business trips he had the occasion to taste different wines aged in amphora. So he get curious to understand how the Sangiovese from the Valdarno area, could express itself if aged in clay vessels. The result is a Sangiovese very fragrant and elegant, with a crispy cherry and a bit of vegetal notes. Perfect, if served chilled, also paired with Summer dishes.
Il Borro, their flagship wines, the first of their estate wines to be produced, IGT Toscana 2016, 50% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Syrah. The wine ages for 18months in barriques and other 8 months in bottle. The wine is very complex, with reach notes of undergrowth, well ripened fruit, raspberry and blueberry, tobacco, toasted coffee, and in the mouth it is very round and elegant, as you expect it to be with this aging and this vintage. I would say a pretty important wine, that I would prefer to accompany with a structured dish, like game, or with seasoned cheeses.
My wine journey here at Il Borro ended with one amazing lunch at the Osteria del Borro, where I had the chance to taste the flavorful seasonal products from their vegetable garden. The view overlooking the borgo is really charming and the design is perfect for both informal lunch and elegant dinner. The menu is all around genuineness and simplicity, top ingredients and less elaboration. I had the fried zucchini flowers, which I will remember for a long time and the classic of the classics, the Spaghetti al pomodoro, that believe me they are not an easy dish, especially if you are Italian and your Grandma used to make the best spaghetti with tomato sauce (so more or less 3 over 5 Italians).
We paired it with the Rosè, which I have to say, I enjoyed the lunch so much that I forgot to take a picture of it, so I will borrow one of their Instagram, just for you to see the label. It matched absolutely perfect with both, fried and tomato.
At the end of this unforgettable experience I can just say that while in Tuscany you absolutely cannot miss a visit at il Borro, if you have the chance to stay for the overnight even better, and please visit their e-commerce in case you would like to try their amazing wines ! Il Borro is absolutely “a place like no other” !