The Region of Emilia Romagna – famous for tortellini, balsamic vinegar, il bollito, cotechino, prosciutto, mortadella – might well be christened “the region of good eating.” Enjoy an overnight at Agriturismo La Sabbiona near Faenza and you’ll have no doubts.
We arrived there one icy misty January night but the chill slipped away as soon as we entered the beamed dining room, once a stall, filled with chatting guests – and met our warm and welcoming host, Mauro. He wandered the dining room, stopping at many a table to tell the guests how his mamma Serena had made the tasty dishes they were savoring. Mauro sat with us for quite awhile, talking about the wines of La Sabbiona with Pino. On their farm, 32 of the 56 acres are vineyards of Centesimino, Sangiovese, Famoso, Albana, Trebbiano, Syrah, Chardonnay and Malvasia grapes with fruits, grains and olives grown in the remaining fields.
The menu enticed: what to order, what to resist? I knew Pino would cede to the bruschetta con lardo di colonnata:
…and whenever we’re in Emilia Romagna, I won’t pass up ravioli con la zucca (ravioli stuffed with winter squash and crushed amaretti). Of course, a Sabbiona vino rosso to accompany all…..
After the ravioli, a medley of grilled vegetables was the perfect conclusion for me. But Pino took on the tagliata, grilled beef splendor:
After our feast, we head upstairs to our room, leaving behind chatting diners – many of them, locals fans of Mamma Serena’s cooking.
As we saw in the misty light the next morning, our room overlooked the Sabbiona vineyards.
We headed downstairs to the dining room, now empty except for cheery Cristina, ready to make us morning espresso and serve up a breakfast feast, including of course, la Sabbiona meats, jams, and breads made from their wheat.
Before leaving, we toured the cantina with Mauro and selected some of their wines to bring back to Umbria.
…and not only wines for sale in the cantina but also Agriturismo La Sabbiona olive oil, preserves, pickled vegetables, fruit juices, tomato sauces, their nocino (walnut liqueur)…..and grappa. (Pino resisted). Many an agriturismo guest leaves with a gift basket of items they’ve selected from the enticing cellar display.
We’re out of la Sabbiona wine: perhaps it’s time to replenish our supply? ….and to taste once again the Sabbiona culinary goodness at dinner. (Click here to read about – and see! – the temptations).
(Photos thanks to Agriturismo La Sabbiona)
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