Its an intimate story…

Earth, sky and water

Its an intimate story…

As the Holiday Season approaches I find myself bringing the year together in my mind, collecting the sweet and the sore to understand how to live better in 2015. Family, work and play all have intertwined in many of the events of 2014 and while there has been some truly wonderful life steps on all sides there has been heart break and sadness too. The Wine Resort and Winery have deepened their roots in so many ways. The Hotel is sublime and its air, food and wine seem to bring healing in so many different ways to the people who visit us there.

The new courtyard at CDSB Tuscany.

The new courtyard at CDSB Tuscany.

It has been a year of renewal and reflection. 10 years of marriage for Manfred and I. Claudia Giuliani has taken over the management of the Hotel and she has brought us to a new level. We launched our new restaurant at the Winery, Maremmana, under our fabulous chef, Jacopo. And we forged new distribution relationships for our organic wines in Canada and the Netherlands.

Manfred and his boys.

Manfred and his boys.

Family and friends mean everything to us and so when we lost our great friend Matt Haley this year in a tragic motorbike accident we were crushed. Manfredo and I loved him too much and we feel the empty space he has left us with. But I feel his presence around us, he was super positive about life, people, food and nature and I hear his encouragement and kindness every day.

Manfred and I are learning to grow our business with dignity, sowing our core values deep into its everyday. We are creating experiences in Tuscany which soothe the soul, make organic wines which we know are clean and have crafted exquisite Italian countryside food at our Ristorante Maremmana which makes our hearts happy. We are also embarking on the next hospitality projects, news coming soon, and all of my creative juices are flowing in anticipation!

Here is Matt with us and our children this Summer in London

Here is Matt with us and our children this Summer in London

Please support us through www.contidisanbonifacio.com and by ordering some wine or olive oil for yourselves or as a gift this festive season, here http://store.nexternal.com/cdsb/storefront.aspx

We want to say thank you for all of your support. We hope to see you in 2015. Have a wonderful December and a peaceful 2015.


Sarah and Manfredo, Vinciguerra, Orlando and Milo

The Countess’ Corner-Venice

IMG_5694
IMG_5561I get asked all of the time for recommendations from our guests at the Wine Resort. So in order to meet demand every now and again I will write a blog with a special suggestion. Todays is a restaurant in Venice.

We got to this “bacchari”, translated means to celebrate the rites of Bacchus, after buying an obscene amount of fish in the Venetian Fish Market. A short gondola across the canal and a 10 minute walk got us to Alla Vedova, The Widows House. It really is everything you want from Venice for lunch: small, wood lined with venetian floors and a well-worn feel about it.

The menu spurred us to order almost everything. The white polenta with schia, small grey prawns from the lagoon which the venetian fisherman eat raw, was off the charts. As was the seppie in squid ink. We were washing it down with some Prosecco as when we ordered a jug (beautiful ceramic on a pewter tray) of the house red, the eccentric owner says, “Don’t, its undrinkable.” He went on to get quite animated, continually reminding us to slow down (we were wolfing it down) as the last thing he needed was a reputation for being “fast food”.

Anyway I’m including a snap of my favourite table at which I will most certainly try to organise a very long, and slow, lunch with some favourite people. I’d love to know what your favourite haunt in Venice was?

Wine and Life

The Family
I love my life, you know. I love it so much I’m prepared to fight each and every day. And I do. Fight I mean, every day against all of those naysayers. As a girl leaving school they said I should be a craft teacher. Right. Then at university they said that girls like me don’t get jobs in the City. Right. Then after 10 years at Goldman they said I’d never survive without them. After 10 more years at Morgan Stanley they said I was mad to leave and give up just to put my family first. They told me that City people never recreate themselves, we are practically unemployable apparently.
But out of all this struggle I see the beautiful things I’ve created. Obviously the children, three amazing brand new boys. Then our wines, grafted from earth,sun and sky, all of the Italy I relish every day. And of course the hilltop Hotel where every piece of linen, every chair, even the forks bought at silver stalls on Portobello Market all chosen by me with so much care, it is almost a religion to me. And the creations don’t stop there. Sharing what we do here in Italy with our friends is a mission. When you open a bottle of our wine we want you to close your eyes and be in this Tuscan paradise. Sip from the glass that clean, gentle air, the freshly ploughed rows between the vines, the light, the gorgeous Italian sun. 
So when someone told me yesterday to down tools and forget this decade or so of absolute devotion I realise nothing changes. I need to buckle down again and prove them wrong. Just as we are extracting fine wines from this unforgiving rocky soil, so for me out of the most difficult moments comes something outstanding.

Look at our Conti di San Bonifacio Winery here  http://www.contidisanbonifacio.com/winery/ and our Wine Resort here http://www.contidisanbonifacio.com/hotel/