Monday, June 9, 2014

La Pievuccia in Castiglion Fiorentino

Emily K: Wednesday, June 4th, we visited La Pievuccia, an agriturismo, which is a family owned bed and breakfast that only serves their own products to their guests. We walked a good forty or so minutes to the agriturismo, taking in the beautiful sights from the Castiglion Fiorentino streets as we hiked. Once we arrived, the owner showed us around his gardens, the pool, and one of the rooms where persons can lodge. He taught us about a gardening technique they use that mixes all the plants and vegetables together. This ensures that all the good nutrients from the soil are being used to their full potential. It also helps with erosion prevention during heavy rains. Plus some plant groupings can enhance the flavors of each plant. After that, he showed us the chardonnay grape plants. In our horticulture class, we learned about the Phylloxera, an insect that originated from the United States, which attacked the grape plants in the mid-1800s. These insects spread to Europe when explorers brought back American grapevines to their countries. The insects rapidly took over and killed almost all of the grapes that were being grown in Europe at the time because the grapes had never been exposed to it. All of the grapes in Europe now have to be grafted onto American grape rootstocks because that break the cycle of the insect. We got to see the graft unions on the chardonnay grape plants where the rootstock and upper part of the plants were joined. The homemade wine at the agriturismo made from theses chardonnay plants was my favorite. It was delicious!

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