White Truffle and Wine Culinary Retreat, Tuscany 2019

white-truffle-IMG_6458pasta making

{UPDATE: We have sold out! To be on the waiting list or to be the first to know of our next retreat, send me an email at info@emikodavies.com} We have spent so long talking about what we would do if we had a handful of days to show people our favourite food and wine experiences and finally, finally we are taking a deep breath and putting it out there — our first culinary retreat together, one focused on white truffles and wine!

Please join me and my sommelier husband, Marco Lami, on a highly curated trip to experience our personal favourite food and wine experiences in Tuscany. Autumn is arguably the best time of year to experience the local cuisine when specialties like wild mushrooms, chestnuts, new olive oil and truffles are in season — and it’s no coincidence that Tuscan wines go particularly well with these things.  

We will stay in a stylish farmhouse in the Tuscan countryside, where home cooked dinners and wine tastings will be held at a long table by the open fireplace and where mornings can begin with a fresh, healthy breakfast, a hot espresso and an invigorating walk through the woods. Our days together will consist of our most favourite things: a combination of day trips to beautiful towns, plus visits to the local markets, hands-on cooking classes, cheese tasting and farm visit, eating out at our favourite trattorias, wine tastings, picking our own olives for oil and even being part of a truffle hunt. We will cook together and have aperitivo every night together, but for those who prefer a bit of down time and lounging by the fireplace, you can choose to do that too and just join in on the eating part! Sound like fun? See below for all the details.

white-truffle-taglioliniwhite truffles from San MiniatoOsteria in Chiantipumpkin at marketfarinata dish

Dates: 13-18 November 2019 (5 nights, 5 days)

Location: Tuscany

Cost: from 2,200 euro per person

Highlights: 

  • 2 full day cooking classes with cookbook author Emiko Davies
  • 3 winery visits and 2 wine pairings with sommelier Marco Lami
  • truffle hunt and visit to San Miniato white truffle festival with free time to explore
  • olive harvest experience
  • visit to and tasting at a goat cheese farm in the Chianti
  • 2 dinners in our favourite trattorias
  • salumi tasting in our favourite butcher shop
  • be immersed in a beautiful Tuscan farmhouse

The itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival at the farmhouse and welcome aperitivo, followed by a home-cooked dinner.

Day 2: Visit the local market to pick out ingredients for cooking a traditional Tuscan meal together in a hands-on cooking lesson. In the afternoon, after lunch, we will harvest olives from the property and take a trip to the local olive oil mill to see how olive oil is made. Return to the house to cook dinner with wine pairings by Marco.

Day 3: After breakfast we will take a drive to the Chianti Classico region and visit an organic goats cheese farm with a cheese tasting, have a delicious lunch in a charming osteria, and of course, pop into some wineries. Back at the house, we’ll have a casual dinner of wood-fired pizza.

Day 4: Today we will take a day trip to Marco’s hometown of San Miniato. We will visit a biodynamic winery with a wine tasting, have a light lunch in a butcher shop and free time for a stroll through the National White Truffle market. Dinner will be in a local trattoria.

Day 5: We will start the day with a walk through the woods and a special truffle hunt followed by a cooking lesson with truffles and new oil, plus a wine lesson with Marco. We can spend the afternoon around the fireplace roasting chestnuts and chatting. A casual dinner at the farmhouse for our last night.

Day 6: After breakfast we will say our goodbyes!

Retreat cost per person: 2,200 euro in double occupancy (single supplement: 400 euro) 

What is included in the price:

  • 5 nights accommodation in a beautiful, renovated, private farmhouse
  • day trips and all transport included in the itinerary
  • Winery visits and tastings
  • Cheese tasting and farm visit
  • 5 healthy breakfasts, 4 lunches and 5 dinners, including two meals out at local restaurants
  • all wine during meals
  • Two full days of cooking classes
  • Daily wine tastings with a certified sommelier
  • A truffle hunt and truffles for the cooking class
  • Visit to olive oil mill and tastings 

Not included in the cost:

  • Airfare and travel costs to and from the farmhouse
  • Travel insurance

our farm house for the retreat

The farmhouse:

We will be based halfway between Florence, Siena and Arezzo in a beautiful spot, hidden away in the countryside, about 15 minutes by car from the nearest town. We will cook, dine and relax in a 300 year old Tuscan farmhouse set among a garden of ancient oak and olive trees. It has the best of the old world with modern conveniences – a comfortable lounge room with fireplace, long table for sharing meals, a large kitchen with wood fired ovens (one indoor, one outdoor), WiFi etc. All the rooms are double, some with en-suite, some with shared bathrooms (first come first served) — if traveling alone but you would like the doubly occupancy rate and don’t mind getting to know a roommate, we will be happy to pair you in a twin room with someone else wanting to do the same thing! Several rooms are available for single occupancy at an additional price of 400 euro. Please quote the room name when booking if you have a preference:

Rosas queen/twin bedroom with shared bathroom with tub/shower — BOOKED

Bellis queen/twin bedroom with private ensuite with tub — BOOKED

Laurus queen/twin bedroom with private ensuite with tub — BOOKED

Visteria twin bedroom with private ensuite with shower — BOOKED

Vitis queen bedroom with shared bathroom with shower — BOOKED

Viola twin bedroom with shared bathroom with shower — PARTIALLY BOOKED

room-farm-retreatroom2-farm-retreatkitchen

To book your place:

{UPDATE: We are sold out! To be on the waiting list or to be the first to know of our next retreat, send me an email at info@emikodavies.com} We require a deposit of 50% upon booking; the remaining 50% should be paid by 15 September 2018. When booking, please specify if there is a room you prefer (first come first served) and whether you would like double occupancy (if coming with a friend or partner, please let us know so we can match up the bookings otherwise let us know if you are happy to share with a roommate) or single with the supplement and please  let us know of any dietary requirements when you book. The booking is non-refundable but if you need to cancel, we can accept someone to take your place. You must have your own travel insurance to participate.

Getting here: Closest international airports are Pisa, Florence, Bologna and Rome. You can rent a car from the airport or take a train via Florence to the closest train station of Montevarchi. We can organise transfers from the station for arrival and departure.

Tuscany in November:

We chose November for this trip because it is our most favourite time of the year. It is calmer, the tourist hoardes have thinned out and the finest Tuscan foods are at their best, including white truffles (we will catch the National white truffle festival in San Miniato, read more about it here), freshly pressed extra virgin olive oil, collecting chestnuts and more. Autumn in Tuscany is beautiful. It can be crisp, clear and sunny or foggy and wet, but it is always spent well with warming foods, wine, roasting chestnuts and traditions like harvesting olives and truffle hunting (see here for more articles and recipes where I wax lyrical about autumn in Tuscany).

San-Miniato_view from Falaschi_IMG_4164san-miniato-festivaltruffles in San MiniatoTuscany--San-Miniato-182San-Miniato_butcher-Falaschi_IMG_4139pappardelle at a local osteriaolive harvest in Tuscany

Your hosts:

Emiko Davies is an Australian-born cookbook author who has called Florence home for over a decade. She was a restaurant critic for The Good Food Guide in Australia for several years and has written about Tuscan traditions and Italian cuisine on this blog since 2010 as well as for publications for Saveur, The Guardian, Conde Nast Traveler, Gourmet Traveller and Corriere della Sera, to name a few. She has three cookbooks on regional Tuscan cuisine. Her husband, Marco Lami, is a certified sommelier and has worked with Australia’s top chefs, including Neil Perry at Rosetta, George Calombaris at The Press Club and Andrew McConnell at The Builder’s Arms. He was the head sommelier at Michelin-starred Il Pellicano and is currently the sommelier at Il Palagio at Florence’s Four Seasons Hotel. He was born in San Miniato, home to Tuscany’s precious white truffles, so you will truly experience this part of the visit through the eyes (and tastebuds) of a local.

workshop-hosts-emiko-and-marco

Things to note:

The retreat will take place with a minimum of 6 and maximum of 12 participants. If we do not reach the minimum, the retreat will be cancelled and you will be refunded 100%. The itinerary is a guide; we reserve the right to make changes in case of bad weather or unforeseen circumstances where we may need to change the order of activities or replace some of the activities with something equally wonderful.

Retreat cost per person: 2,200 euro in double occupancy (single supplement: 400 euro) 

To book now with your deposit click here or email: info@emikodavies.com.

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