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Geared to the food and wine lover, Jens Schmidt, proprietor and architect of Villa Montecastello, and renowned wine expert, will personally welcome you, and share his vast knowledge of local culture, food and Italian wine varietals. Jens will open the private Montecastelli wine cellar to you, filled with over 2000 of the best Italian wines dating back to the 1970’s. Jens can lead you through extensive wine tastings and will help arrange tours to wineries, private cooking classes and share insider secrets like where to find all the best antique and food markets. In most seasons you can buy Tuscany’s best olive oil, enjoy fresh organic produce from our garden, sample Montecastelli homemade prosciutto and salami or gather fresh eggs from our own hens without leaving the Villa. If you are tired of gourmet food and world class wines, you can always walk or mountain bike over the hill to our local trattoria, or opt for a pizza at Indios in the neighboring town of Colle Val d’Elsa, or we can book a massage treatment for you in our own poolside facility. From the back terrace of Montecastelli, you will have a view to the rolling mountains of the Montagnola, Tuscany’s green lung and nature reserve, offering well marked hiking trails where you can discover rare birds, wild boars, porcupines, porcini mushrooms, wild orchids, chestnuts as well as the occasional truffle. We take care for making every detail of your stay special, so that Villa Montecastello will be the perfect home base for your Tuscan adventure.

“We just returned from a glorious week at the Villa Montecastelli. We have so many wonderful memories from that week, but the highlight of each day was the four course dinner prepared for us by Jens Schmidt and served in the lovely courtyard of the villa. We knew that he grew organic produce and raised healthy animals on his farm, so we were expecting fresh and tasty food. What we didn’t know was that Jens is a talented and creative chef. Jens takes his top notch ingredients and elevates them into an art form. Each meal was not only heathy and incredibly delicious, but it was exquisitely presented as well. Although all of the dishes were terrific, some of the standouts for us included the salumi plate assortment made from his own pigs; homemade tagliatelle with pomodoro sauce made from his unbelievably sweet tomatoes; squash blossoms stuffed with goat cheese; roasted Guinea fowl; Tuscan tomato-bread soup; his own creation called “egg in a glass” (you have to see and taste this to understand the level of his artistry); a steak Florentine; that fabulous tagliatelle again, this time with an amazing Sicilian pesto; vanilla ice cream with poached fig; and the most sublimely ethereal tiramisu ever. Jens is equally skilled preparing haute cuisine and traditional comfort foods. He offers classic dishes with a modern and creative twist. And he is so knowledgeable about Italian wines that he is able to create the perfect pairings to go with every meal. The gorgeous setting, brilliantly prepared, intensely fresh food, and the fine wines all combined each evening in a perfectly orchestrated meal that was a feast for all our senses. “Linda Danielson, villa guest September 2016

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