Tuesday Travels: Borgo Argenina

Welcome to Borgo Argenina, a truly magical stone estate in the hills of Chianti. IMG_2414.JPGIMG_2419.JPG

Visiting Borgo Argentina was an experience like no other and my absolute favorite part of our Newly Newlywed Italian Adventure. The 998 AD Peasant Farmer home had been abandoned for years when, now owner, Elena Nappa, discovered the property while on a holiday from Milan. A former fashion designer, Elena quickly fell in love with the estate. She knew in her heart it was a calling for her to restore the hamlet into a stunning seven room Bed & Breakfast and that is exactly what she did. Her story of how she transformed this property without electricity and running water into a fully functioning Bed and Breakfast is really remarkable. IMG_2416.JPG

Adam and I drove from Florence to the Chianti hamlet. Passing thousands of grape vines and olive trees, around curvy bends, narrowingly escaping head on collisions with Italian drivers and through the rolling hills to get to Elena’s. Upon arrival at Borgo Argenina we were greeted by Elena’s four-legged friends, Giuseppina and Pasqualina along with other guests who were sitting on the grand stone patio, enjoying a glass of vino taking in the sunset over Chianti. IMG_2420.JPG

“Welcome! You must be new! Elena is upstairs in the Kitchen.” one guest said. Instantly we were family.

Our journey at Borgo Argenina began as we passed the bell to ring for Elena if you arrive after hours and opened the original wooden double doors adorned with iron locks and handles. IMG_2415.JPG

Once inside the main house, up the narrow stone stairway with one tiny window over looking the garden, we found Elena, tooting around her kitchen. IMG_2433.JPG

“Ah! Bella! Benvenuto! I’ve been expecting you! Fett, si?” Elena asked.

She grabbed the keys and escorted us to the Piccola Suite, our home for the next four days. We had a quaint sitting room adjacent to our bedroom, an attached private bath and views of the rolling Chianti Hills and Elena’s garden. PicTapGo-Image-5.jpg

Each room is equip with a mini bar and tea kettle that is refreshed daily, wifi and a hairdryer. (Yay! One less thing to pack!) There is no air conditioning at Borgo Argenina, thankfully, even during the Summer months the nights were cool and a flowing breeze filled our room. Elena took us downstairs, showed us the Parlor and Breakfast Room before heading outside.PicTapGo-Image-2.jpgIMG_2434.JPGIMG_2423.JPGIMG_2422.JPG

After a tour of our suite and parts of the property we sat down with Elena on the stone patio outside. She shared some of her favorite places in Tuscany with us over a glass of wine. PicTapGo-Image.jpg

We chatted for what felt like hours of friends catching up before we realized the time and that we were late for a supper reservation she made for us at Giorgio’s. We will share that experience with y’all a little later. Delizioso!

Every morning, Borgo Argenina guests are greeting to a beautiful breakfast spread prepared by two of Elena’s three employees. On the daily menu: Fresh Coffee, homemade Yogurt, local meats, cheeses and honey, fresh fruit, and varieties of Elena’s Coffee Cake.  PicTapGo-Image-3.jpgPicTapGo-Image-1.jpgPicTapGo-Image-4.jpg

Elena also invites her guests to a nightly Cooking Class at Borgo Argenina. If you’re staying with her, this is a MUST! It was by far the best food we had during our time in Italy and if she had extra room we would have taken the class a second time! Each guest is gifted with her Borgo Argenina Cookbook-filled with Elena’s family recipes and traditional Italian dishes. The time we spent in the kitchen with Elena and other guests was a highlight of our trip. Pop over next Monday to see what was on our Menu! IMG_1196.JPG

Y’all, I really can not express how much HeliHubby and I enjoyed our time at Borgo Argenina. It is in a perfect location to be a “home base” for Montepulciano, Volterra, Siena and more little Tuscan Wine towns. It’s truly an enchanting, one of a kind Italian escape. Elena is absolutely wonderful. She is warm, welcoming and lovely. We felt like we had known her for years and yet we just met. Leaving we all three got a bit teary eyed as we said our “goodbyes.” I don’t know when the Newly Newlyweds will get to return to Chianti to visit Elena, but I do know HeliHubby and I both left a piece of our hearts in Tuscany at Borgo Argenina. It is just magical.

If you’re considering a Tuscan Vacation I highly reccomened you consider Borgo Argenina as your home. Have questions about the hamlet or want help planning your vacation? Feel free to message us- I am happy to help! PicTapGo-Image-7.jpg

Fino all prossima volta, we hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers Y’all!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re newlyweds, not experts!

Throw Back Thursday: West Coast Wanders {Part 2}

Up and at ’em again! You’d think after a long day of touring six wineries Adam and I would relax by the pool at the Meritage Resort. Yea right! We have more vineyards to see and wines to try!

If you missed our Tuesday Travels post, take a look and get caught up on our two day trip to Napa Valley.

Friday: 

@HeliHubby and I started our Friday morning with a late Breakfast at The Boon Fly Cafe. Wow y’all! Talk about good eats! You’ve got to make a stop if you’re in the area and start with their “Bakers Dozen Donuts.” So not healthy, but oh so yummy! They are mini cinnamon/sugar donuts served with a variety of jellys to dip the in. Yum! Yum!

Breakfast 1

Adam had a omelet and I ate the Poppa Joe’s Egg in a Hole…so so good! Really, can you tell how much we enjoyed it? I can’t wait to go back!

Breakfast 2 Breakfast 3

Our first Winery of the day, was Bouchaine Vineyards.

Bouchaine

They are the oldest winery in the region and are now a locally owned boutique style winery. We can not say enough wonderful things about this tasting.  Our tasting guides Alli and Tyler were the best we had our entire trip- they could not have provided a better experience! Both were extremely knowledgable about the wine and the wine making process. We loved that we could tell they both genuinely loved their job. We found another delicious sweet wine here too! We can’t wait to return!

Etude 1

After our tasting at Bouchaine we stopped by Etude for another quick tasting. Their tasting cost is a bit more expensive than most wineries in the area, however, we were able to taste very high end bottles. (Wines that Adam and I would never buy-way too pricey for us!) A great experience though!

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From Etude we went to Artesa Winery.

Artesa 1

The tasting room is very unique, it’s built into a hill- you’d never know it was there!

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Artesa has a large outdoor tasting area- awesome views of the grounds and the valley area. On a beautiful sunny day, it is the perfect spot to sit, relax, take in the views and taste the wines!

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Artesa had the “youngest crowd” and was the most busy out of all the wineries we visited. It actually felt like we were at a club fighting to get to the bar for a drink. While there we met an older couple that was part of their wine club and they could not even get service. The views were awesome, but not worth going back to and fighting the crowds. We each had one glass of champagne and left. Disappointing.

Our final tasting of our trip was at Domaine Carneros. {You can see the grounds of Domaine Carneros from the observation deck of Artesa.}

Domaine Carneros 1

We planned to visit this vineyard midday, because they are one of the very few that serves food alongside their tastings. (at an additional cost) It is definitely worth paying a little more though! Reservations are required, we planned about an hour at each winery tasting prior in order to make it in time for our reservation. Again, another site with gorgeous views and a large outdoor tasting area.

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Adam and I each did the Grande Champagne tasting with the Charcuterie Plate. (A selection of artisan meats served with sliced baguette.) Our host was an older French gentleman- he just loved Adam and I! He brought us out an additional dessert Champagne to try along with some dark chocolate to top off our visit! It was another favorite spot added to our list!

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We loved our time in Napa and can not wait to start planning a trip back. We could literally spend weeks out there and not see everything! Have you done a wine tasting trip out to Napa or Sonoma? We’d love to hear from you! What are your favorite vineyards to tour? Wines to taste?

Watch for another Newly Newlywed Tuesday Travels post next week! We’ll be sharing our trip down to San Francisco through the Muir Woods and over the Golden Gate Bridge, plus all the things we did in the city!

Don’t forget to follow these spots on @twitter too!

@MeritageResort 

@BoonFlyCafe

@BouchaineWines

@EtudeWines

@Artesa

@DomaineCarneros

So sad to see our Napa Valley trip come to an end, but we will be visiting again soon! Now to continue Adam’s birthday celebration in the city! We will share all the details soon!

Domaine Carneros 5

Hope you are enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers Y’all!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re newlyweds not experts!