Daygustation offer gourmet villa holidays for groups of 6-18 guests in the heart of Tuscany. Choose either the rustic charm of Pastina Alta (6-16 guests) situated in rolling hills amongst vines and olives near Arezzo or the magnificent 11th century Villa Maddalena (8-18 guests) situated in the centre of Montisi, a medieval hilltop village. Chef Selina Maldini and wine expert/sommelier Matt Day will create a bespoke holiday to suit the requirements of your group. In addition to the fabulous food and drink we can put together a program of tastings, cookery masterclasses and visits to wineries if requested. With your input we will design the menus for your stay with each dish matched to the perfect wine. Each day we will cook you a three course lunch and dinner with all dishes and wines coming from the region of the day. This is the ultimate holiday for lovers of real food and wine. The price for 6 adults sharing a Pastina Alta villa (3 twin/double rooms) is £1500 per person for 7 nights (full board, wines, accommodation, but not transport or excursions). At Villa Maddalena prices start at £2000 for a minimum of 8 guests.
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Daygustation run relaxed wine and cookery holidays in a stunning medieval villa in the picture perfect town of Montisi near Siena. Each day you will learn about the wines and cuisine of a different Italian region including the Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Alto Adige, Sicily, Sardinia, Campania and of course Tuscany. Uniquely we give equal weight to wine and food and there is a regional wine tasting given by expert Matt Day every afternoon. Mornings and evenings you will learn how to cook three authentic dishes from the region of the day. The tuition is hands on – we don’t believe in demonstrations. Our friendly Italian chef Selina Maldini will pass on all her secrets and teach you the classics, including pasta making, gnocchi, risotto and pizza. The price includes half-board, wines, accommodation, and tuition. For full details please click here
The Winemaker’s Apprentice
The Winemaker’s Apprentice is a new school where you get to play at winemaker for the week or weekend. The course will include the usual tastings, theory and winery visits, but also you will be involved producing the wine of that year. What you will be doing depends on the time of year that you visit, but could be pruning, picking, blending or racking. The classroom is the vineyard, so expect to get dirty!
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In 1994 Gerard Basset was one of the founding partners of the incredibly successful Hotel du Vin boutique chain, which was sold to Malmaison in 2004 for a cool 66.4million. He pocketed an estimated 2.4m from the sale and while most of us would move to warmer climes and drink margaritas in the sun, Gerard and his wife decided to open a small 11 room hotel in the New Forest. The couples philosophy is very much hands-on: Nina looks after the hotel operation and the restaurant and cellar is Gerard’s natural domain and passion. Read more
The Hotel de Paris owes its existence to the famous casino across the road: in 1863 on the verge of bankruptcy Prince Charles III of Monaco enlisted the help of a French businessman, who established the casino on the hill (Monte Carlo = hill of Charles). Gambling was illegal in France and Italy and soon the casino owners Societe des Bains de Mer were turning over a small fortune and had to build hotels including the Hotel de Paris and Ermitage to accommodate its wealthy clientele. Read more