Without a doubt, the highlight of our Italian vacation was a cooking lesson at Fonte de’ Medici in the hart of the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany.
The village of Fonte de’ Medici dates back to the 1400s and is surrounded by vineyards belonging to the famous wine-making Antinori Family.
The backdrop is absolutely stunning. Like something out of a movie! Just what you’d expect when you dream of visiting Tuscany.
Our day consisted of much more than a cooking class, but I will start there since that’s where we began! There were only six of us in the class that was led but the ultra charming and very Italian Chef Duccio.
Duccio was seriously the cutest and has my DREAM JOB! The teaching kitchen at Fonte de’ Medici is fully sponsored by Kitchenaid so it has every top-of-the-line cooking appliance and gadget you could ever imagine. I was most impressed by the blast chiller that chilled a bottle of wine to perfection in about 5 minutes flat. Yes, please!
Duccio taught us how to make pasta from scratch, pizza dough (that we drizzled with olive oil, sea salt, and tomatoes), and even Nutella. Yep- homemade Nutella.
We had the best time! Duccio was full of life and personality and took great care to explain not only the food, but the history and culture surrounding Italian cuisine.
After the lesson ended, the six of us made our way to nearby Badia a Passignano, a vineyard surrounding an ancient monastery that the Antinori family now rents from the monks and uses as a wine cellar and Michelin star restaurant.
Our guide walked us through the vineyards where the grapes were nearly ready to be harvested.
Leading up to the monastery was the most beautiful garden, overflowing with every herb and vegetable you could possibly think of.
Inside the monastery is where the winemakers store the barrels. The building itself is rich in history and even has WWII ties.
After our vineyard and cellar tour, it was time for my first-ever Michelin star meal at Osteria a Passignano.
Each of our six courses were expertly paired with wines from Tuscany. We began with an olive oil tasting and I was shocked by how different the oils can taste!
This tasting meal was such a treat. And, just as you’d expect in a Michelin star restaurant, the service was top-notch from beginning to end.
I cannot suggest this cooking class and winery tour enough. It is a bit of a splurge but it’s an incredible way to experience Tuscany. We rented a car and drove from Florence (it’s only about an hour away), but next time we want to stay in Tuscany for at least a few days and just relax among the vineyards.