Terracotta, yellow ochre and green

Grapes on vine

Grapes, not in a vineyard but in the garden where we were staying

The autumn sun, with a temperature more akin to summer, added a further glaze of warmth to the terracottas, yellow ochres and greens plus the wines and olives of Tuscany.

The temperature in the Scottish Borders had dropped to single figures when we flew out from Edinburgh, but on our arrival in Pisa at just after nine o’clock in the evening it was a balmy, shirt-sleeved, twenty two degrees.

Tuscan landscape

The terracottas, yellow ochres and greens of the Tuscan landscape

The rich colours of the Tuscan landscape are embroidered by the shimmering grey green of olive trees and neat running-stitched rows of vines, their grapes at this time of year picked and undergoing transformation in stainless steel vats.

Our host, Pierluigi, was off into the Tuscan hills the day after our arrival and offered to take us with him to show us some vineyards. That was an offer that couldn’t be refused, to see the Tuscan countryside and sample some of its produce.

Tasting terrace at Tenuta del Buonamico

Tasting terrace at Tenuta del Buonamico overlooking the vineyards of the surrounding countryside


Vineyards from the terrace

Montecarlo perches on a hilltop surrounded by vineyards. Tenuta del Buonamico had a striking modern shop and impressive terrace tasting area alongside the vibrant green roof of the wine cellar sunk into the hillside.

Green roof of the wine cellar

Green roof of the wine cellar at Tenuta del Buonamico




Here we were offered a tasting of two reds and a white, probably in the expectation of us buying a couple of cases for dispatch back to Scotland. As out Ryanair baggage allowance would scarcely accommodate one bottle we settled on buying a few for holiday drinking.


Tenuta del Buonamico

View from Tenuta del Buonamico


Inside the shop at Tenuta del Buonamico

Inside the shop at Tenuta del Buonamico












A short drive brought us to Montechiari where more traditional buildings nestled in garden surroundings of pencil-slim conifers and terracotta pots, with the mellow view rolling away to distant blue hills. Here wine is matured in stainless steel vats with the superior quality wine cossetted in oak barrels.

Terracotta sign for Montechiari

Terracotta sign for Montechiari

Pencil-slim connifers

Pencil-slim connifers at Montechiari

Terracotta pots

Terracotta pots at Montechiari

Stainless steel fermenting vats

Stainless steel fermenting vats at Montechiari


Wine in barrels

Wine in barrels at Montechiari








Montecarlo is styled a wine town, citta del vino, with the main street depicted as the street of wine  and oil (olive, of course).

Strada del vino sign

Strada del vino sign in Montecarlo



Citta del vino sign

Citta del vino sign in Montecarlo






Some of the old houses boasted coats of arms on signs hanging from the buildings like traditional pub signs. Family and provenance are obviously still important.



Fattoria Il Poggio is a popular bus tour stop and our arrival coincided with that of a party of Austrians who made for the tables laid out amongst the trees to sample food and wine. For some reason it reminded me of a school trip to Germany very many years ago, when instead of wine it was beer being quaffed. Here we bought a few more bottles of wine (well, we were on holiday!) and a small bottle of local olive oil.

Fattoria Il Poggio

Enjoying food and wine at Fattoria Il Poggio

Florence is better known for its art than wine

Stone carving

Stone carving of a wine lover


Chianti shop

Chianti shop in Florence

Chardonnay poster

Chardonnay poster in Florence

but even here Tuscan wines are widely promoted, and there was no better way of rounding off our visit to the city than by sitting at a café table by the Duomo, Florence’s stunning white, pink and green cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. A glass of white and a glass of red wine cost 16 euros (much more than the bottles we had bought in Montecarlo) though they did come with a plate of crisps, peanuts and wonderfully large green olives. It was probably one of the most expensive places to order a glass of wine, but the setting was unique and the ambiance indescribable. Of such stuff are memories made.

Cafe by the Duomo

Enjoying Tuscan wine at a cafe by Florence’s cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore



About jingsandthings

I am me. What do I like? Colour Shapes Textures Paintings, photographs, sculptures, woven tapestries, wonderful materials. The love of materials probably comes from my father who was a textile buyer, and I grew up hearing the names of mills and manufacturers which sounded magical and enticing. Glass in all its soft and vibrant colours and flowing shapes, even sixties glass which makes its own proud statement. A book I can immerse myself in. Meals with family or friends with lots of chat and laughter (and probably a bottle or two of wine). The occasional trip abroad to experience the sights, sounds, food, conversation, quality of light and warmth of other countries. To revel in differences and be amazed by similarities. I like to create and to experience, to try and to achieve. And then there are words – read, heard, written at my keyboard, or scrawled on sticky notes, or along the edges of dog-eared supermarket receipts excavated from the unexplored nooks of my handbag. What do I dislike? Cold Snow Bad design Fast food Condescension
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1 Response to Terracotta, yellow ochre and green

  1. Rita Kay says:

    Your photos, as always, are beautiful !!!

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