Florence lays in a valley, and in summertime you might get caught in a real still heat that is just unfair and cruel. Nothing is better than to jump in your car at sunset with a few friends, roll down the windows and escape toward the country and its fresh evening breeze. “Fuori Porta” means literally Out Of The Door, in reference of the fact that you are crossing the city walls and leaving the historical center behind you. One of my very favorite quick trips out of the city is the Chianti region, unique in its landscape and a cornucopia of wine and delicious foods. The menu for this evening is an homage to the many culinary adventures me and my friends shared while growing up and an ode to all the “Lamole di Lamole” wine we have consumed in the process.
Over 700 years ago, Romans discovered a small valley tucked high in the hills of what is now Greve in Chianti. They recognized that the area was ideal for cultivation with its steep slopes of the nearby Monte San Michele that provided protection from the elements, and the Mediterranean climate provided long, sun-filled days. Vineyards and olive groves were planted in its limestone-rich soil. By the 1800’s, Lamole had become recognized as a “cradle” of fine winemaking, and in particular, Sangiovese. In addition to grape growing and farming, the village was also famed for its production of orris root essence, obtained from the Florentine iris flower native to the area, and highly-sought after for perfumery and medicinal use. These assets became so important that in 1350, the Gherardini family of Florence (ancestors of the infamous Mona Lisa) built a castle and watchtower to protect the village, and its ruins can still be seen today. In fact, the existing Lamole di Lamole aging room was built from the remains of the castle’s storage cellars.
With industrialization in the mid-1800’s, cities attracted immigration from these rural villages, and the local farmers lost resources to maintain the vineyards. After a lengthy period of dormancy and decline, Santa Margherita USA embarked on a multi-year project in 1993 to restore this historical site and return the winery to its original acclaim. This included restoring the dry-stone walls that support and reinforce the iconic vineyard terraces, crucial to the vines’ growing process. In addition, a new winemaking facility and aging cellar was constructed to ensure a consistent production capacity with the latest in winemaking technology and equipment.
Located within the small village of Lamole, a hamlet of Greve in Chianti, the Lamole di Lamole vineyards occupy south-facing plots at various altitudes between 1100 and 1800 feet above sea level. Surrounded by a forest of cypress, hawthorn and juniper trees, the vines are planted to the region’s native grape varieties of Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Malvasia near and Trebbiano Toscana, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Alicante. The Mediterranean climate with a strong day to night diurnal temperature variation, together with the Tuscan Alberese (compact, fine grained limestone) and Galestro (weathered shale, clay and limestone) soils provide an optimal environment for high-quality grape production. Our highly distinctive Chianti Classico comes from the rich terroir and unique microclimate of the Lamole valley, coupled with our winemaker’s decades of experience at the winery.
Rooted in 700 years of tradition and created with the finest modern winemaking techniques, the wines of Lamole di Lamole: Chianti Classico Blue Label, Chianti Classico Riserva, and Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigneto di Campolungo are elegant, inspiring expressions of the very best of this special land.
As always, given the nature of our events and the small size of our room, tickets are transferrable but not refundable. Please double check your calendar before pulling the trigger! Our shop is not a restaurant but rather a communal dining room. We do not fire our orders based on your arrival time, we do not use heating lamps and we get sad when our food gets cold because a guest is late. Pretend you are coming to dinner at grandma… mine used to smack me if I was late for Sunday supper. We won’t get physical, we will just start without you around 7.15.