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Meet the Bike Tour Guide Who Also Makes Fine Italian Wine

Posted by Carol Sicbaldi

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I often meet amazing people doing amazing things in my line of work, but one of the most intriguing women I have come across in recent years is a dear Ciclismo Classico colleague, bike tour guide Giuditta Parisi.

Not only is Giuditta a keen, graceful cyclist with a voracious passion for good food and wine, she and her dynamic family are living the dream. They have been able to combine all of their individual artistic talents and remarkable work ethic to produce delicious, high-quality wines with an imaginative flair.

This one-of-a-kind family is based in the Val d’Orcia, a valley along the Orcia River in Montalcino just south of Siena. For more than a decade, they have been at the forefront of high-quality Brunello wine production. Her family runs a winery called NostraVita—a featured visit on our popular Heart of Tuscany trip—which deeply explores the heart and soul of the legendary wine regions of Chianti and Val d’Orcia.

The 215,000-square-foot NostraVita vineyard is located in Montalcino at an altitude of 1,640 feet, providing the perfect microclimate and soil for growing the unique, local Sangiovese grapes. Giuditta’s family produces Brunello di Montalcino (5,000 bottles per year) and Rosso di Montalcino (5,000 bottles per year), two of Italy’s most prestigious wines. All the work on the vineyard is done organically and by hand—exclusively by family members—with loving care and precise attention to detail, which is evident in every delicious bottle.

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As if Giuditta’s sparkling personality and calming, warm spirit weren’t enough, the story behind the birth of NostraVita and her family’s creativity will draw you in even more.

It all started in the late 1970s when many people in this part of Tuscany had moved to the larger towns, leaving several farms and farmhouses abandoned. Her father, Annibale Parisi, started building a home in front of what he referred to as a “magical” oak tree when he was 18. He finished when he was 25.

Being a painter and true admirer of Pablo Picasso, Annibale named the house “NostraVita,"affectionately named after Picasso’s Notre Dame de Vie which means “Our Lady of Life” in French.

In 2000, when Annibale retired, he planted 10,000 Sangiovese vines and NostraVita was born. Their first harvest was in 2004 and their first bottles of Brunello were released in 2012. Each bottle of Brunello has a hand-painted label created by Annibale with the vineyard’s logo designed by Giuditta and her two sisters, Carlotta and Valentina.

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The four basic colors used in every label design are giallo (yellow), rosso (red), nero (black), and bianco (white). These colors represent the earth, passion and love, work, and the light of life, respectively. And for Annibale, these are the essential ingredients to living an exceptional life; it’s also a philosophy that he clearly applies to his production of truly exceptional wines.

Join us on our next Heart of Tuscany bike tour and come meet Giuditta and her family of Brunello wine producers in a stunningly beautiful corner of la nostra Toscana—our Tuscany! Also, you can catch Giuditta on our Assaggio Toscana bike tour as a guide!

Heart of Tuscany

Assaggio Toscana

 

wine

Written by Carol Sicbaldi

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