Story by Adrian Brijbassi
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA — Passionate winemakers will say their love for the craft runs so deep it’s in their blood. That statement is more true for Beatrice Landini than others. Landini is a third-generation winemaker from Italy. Raised on a farm in Tuscany that contains acres and acres of vineyards, Landini arrived in Canada last week to showcase some of her family’s collection from their Viticcio winery in the town of Greve and satellite winery in Bolgheri, a region near the Italian coast.
Landini ventured to Vancouver to participate in the Vitticio Wine Dinner at CinCin Restaurant, a marvellous establishment on Robson Street that trends toward Italian flavours even though its chef, Andrew Richardson, is a Brit. Richardson and wine director Shane Taylor teamed with Viticcio for a menu that featured a salumi plate of flavourful chorizo iberico, ravioli layered with black truffles, and roasted and grilled beef sirloin. It was an opportunity for Landini to discover more about Canadian cuisine and for those of us dining with her to learn about life on a Tuscan vineyard.
“Years ago, people would come into the countryside but there was nowhere for them to stay, so they would have to return to the city. Then with agriturismo, farmhouses started to serve meals and have rooms for people to stay in, and it gave them a chance to really experience life in the country,” says Landini, who has studied winemaking in Bordeaux.
A Taste of Italy on the West Coast
Agriturismo changed the tourism landscape in Italy. It offers immersive stays in less-populated areas of the country and at prices far less than what the hotels of Rome and Venice charge. The Landini family’s farmhouse is now one of those agriturismo properties, renting out rooms with a starting rate of 850 euros (approximately $1,200 Canadian) per week for two people. The farmhouse in ancient Greve, which is in the Chianti region south of Florence, is depicted on bottles of Viticcio Bere, a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet and Merlot grapes that is easy to drink, neither too dry nor too light-bodied. The farm has an impressive 35 hectares and the Bolgheri property has 15 hectares. It’s the source of the family’s Greppi brand wines, including the Bordeaux-blended Greppicaia Bolgheri Superiore, which retails for about $35 a bottle. According to Wine.com, “The wines of Viticcio represent an important combination of traditional, time-honored techniques with modern-day technology and respect for the environment.”
The family’s wines are made without the use of pesticides and with food staples such as fava beans growing among the vines. In total, the Landini family operations produce 300,000 bottles a year, a large volume for a family-owned and operated business.
“It is what I love to do,” Beatrice Landini says with a smile. “God gave us wine because he wanted us to be happy.”
MORE ABOUT CINCIN
Location: 1154 Robson Street (see map below)
Contact/Reservations: Telephone, 604-688-7338; email, firstname.lastname@example.org
Menu Price Range: Most dinner entrees cost $30-$35, with the priciest item being a 20-ounce, wood-fired, bone-in ribeye steak ($65).
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