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Jan 29, 2011 04:12 PM

Coastal Livorno-Tuscany, Bolgheri restaurant

I will be wine tasting in Super Tuscan Bolgheri region and am looking for a place with casual local fare and a nice wine list for lunch for about 35 euro per person (excludin wine). We will be in the area of Ornellaia and Sassicaia -- more specifically, the San Guido and Castegneto Carducci Borgo area. Please share any insights you can. Thanks!

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    It would be great to get some reports from this area, and enjoy!

    1. Hi there! We are planning a three day stay at Poggio Al Santi in San Vencenzo in early May. The sole purpose is to immerse ourselves in the wines of Bolgheri. Of course we want to tour/taste at Ornellaia, Sassicaia, Tignanelo and Masseto. Who wouldn't? However, living close to Napa Valley, we are accustomed to drive up and walk in. I have heard Italian wineries are not so accomodating. Can you share with us any insights about accessing the wineries for tastings? Many thanks, Al Knoll

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      1. re: alknoll

        Coincidentally, we went down to Bolgheri this morning (Saturday) to buy olive oil (best oil for us is from La Piccola Dispensa right in town; a small shop with great oil and wonderful owners) and wine. Gorgeous day, but as always at this time of year, the town is deserted and many places are closed.

        With regard to your question about Sassicaia et. al. If you want to see Sassicaia (and I presume it is the same for the other three wines you mentioned), you generally need an introduction... this is not California. Tasting is easier. Sassicaia is on the right as you enter the 5 km. "Carducci cypress drive" leading to the tiny walled town of Bolgheri. On the left is the Tenuta. At the Tenuta there is a restaurant (mediocre) and an enoteca. In the enoteca you can buy all the "Super Tuscans", as well as try them. Of course, there is a cost to try them; again, this is not California. There are a number of enoteche in town and in May the town shouldn't be that over-run, so perhaps you'll find a parking space in the lot just out of town. Many of the enoteche will give you a free taste of wines, but the wines won't be Sassicaia. They will, however, give you an ounce (or two) of Sassicaia for a price. Perhaps someone else knows something that I don't know, but what I wrote has always been the situation in the many times we've been to Bolgheri. It's a delightful area and highly recommended. When you get about halfway up the cypress drive, make a left at the sign (there is only one) heading toward Bibbona and after a very short drive, you'll be among the Ornellaia vines.