You are here

A Day in Chianti

September 30, 2018

On a beautiful Thursday morning, our IES Abroad group boarded a bus and headed to the hills of the Chianti region of Italy. We were ready to connect what we were learning in our classes to some traditional business in the area. We had two stops planned, the wine producers of Rocca di Castagnoli and the pasta producers of Pastificio Fabbri.


Entrance to the Rocca di Castagnoli Vineyard

We began our trip and were warmly welcomed at the Rocca di Castagnoli vineyard.


IES waiting to tour the wine production facility

There was lots of excitement as we waited to tour the vineyard, knowing that tons of history, culture, and, of course, magnificent wine were waiting for us.


12th century courtyard that hosts the facility

The vineyard is located in an old military fortress, built in the 12th century. The 800-year-old buildings are incredibly beautiful and have been converted to the working wine facilities as well as a hotel for guests and partners.


Oak barrels filled with young wine

The style, quality, and taste of wine are greatly affected by the storage and fermentation process.


Oak barrels of varying sizes line the inside of the building

The traditional oak barrels vary in size and age. The smaller the barrel, the more the wine touches the oak and impacts the taste of the final product.


Patiently waiting for the wine tasting to begin

The wine tasting portion was designed to both be fun and educational. Learning the proper way to taste, smell, and look at wine gave a whole new insight into the wine process


Discovering the proper way to do a wine tasting

We were given a taste of four incredible wines, ranging from a young 2017 Chardonnay to a 2012 reserve Poggio a’Frati.


Vineyard store showcases the best wines and fun art

On our way out, we explored their little shop of wines, which included some fun wine themed decorations, like these people built out of wine corks.


Visiting the Pastificio Fabbri company

Our next stop on this wonderful Chianti tour was the Pastificio Fabbri, an artisanal pasta company.


Different grains and flour line the table

The first part of the tour was learning about how the grain, flour, and drying process all impact the taste, quality, and healthiness of the final product.


Grains play an important role in the pasta making process

Pastificio Fabbri uses ancient grains for their pasta, which are taller, but therefore more at risk of falling over during growth. The shorter new type of grain is more durable, but because it is so close to the ground, it requires more pesticides to keep bugs away.


Understanding the difference between mass produced and artisan pasta

When looking at the final product, the mass produced, high heat product is a much brighter yellow, while the artisan, slow dried past is an off-white.


Studies showcasing the benefits of artisan pasta

In a partnership between the Pastificio Fabbri company and the University of Florence, a study was done about the impact of ancient grains and slow drying process pasta on health.


The pasta machines produce different variations of pasta

They have a small production, and different machines designed for different types of pasta. While a large-scale mass production factory may take 1-3 hours to create the final product, Pastificio Fabbri generally takes 6-9 days.


Slowly drying pasta is the way to ensure the quality and health

The drying process is incredibly important for them. At no point in the production is the temperature allowed to go over 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit). This is to preserve the nutrients in the grain and flour.

From Our Blogs

May 18 10:16am

Farewell, Freiburg 

by Horace

It’s been more than a week since I’ve left Freiburg, but the city and the time I spent there is still often on my mind.

Learn more
May 18 10:13am

Four Months and Four Things That I’m Grateful For

by Horace

I am grateful for the trips that I went on. I visited numerous countries for the first time—these countries were, in the order that I travelled to them: Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Hungary, and Bulgaria.

Learn more
May 18 10:10am

A Open Letter to Future Students Studying Abroad in Freiburg

by Horace

Dear Student Studying Abroad in Freiburg, 

Congratulations on choosing to study abroad in Freiburg! Here are three tips for living in Freiburg:

Learn more
May 17 5:31pm

En Route to Nice!

by Addie

Hey, everyone! I’m Addie, and I just finished my sophomore year at Davidson College. I’m a sociology major and super excited to leave for France.

Learn more
May 17 5:05pm

A Little Bit of Home in Berlin

by Sophia

The last two weeks of my program involved studying for finals, questioning how I am going to pack all my clothes into my suitcase and fitting in last-minute activities in Berlin. Unlike most people in my program, my last two weeks also involved a visit from my family.

Learn more
May 16 8:14pm

Rotorua and Cape Reinga

by Cat

A few weekends ago I completed my first half marathon! I had been training for it for a while but I was still nervous when the day finally arrived. The race was around Rotorua and in the Redwoods Forest area.

Learn more