It’s that time of the year again! Like every winter, this has been a busy one at Petraia. People are often surprised to learn most of the work on our farm is done in the winter. We have about 40,000 grape vines to prune by hand before bud break in early spring. A couple of…

  Recently on a trip to the Franco-Suisse Jura mountains we enjoyed a memorable afternoon at La Boissaude, an isolated farmhouse-restaurant just a stone’s throw from the summit of Mont D’Or and the Swiss border. We were there to try the local melted cheese speciality called la boîtes chaude, a whole Vacherin du Mont D’Or cheese melted with a little white wine and served…

One winter night, over 10 years ago, Michael and I had a lovely dinner at a remote and very isolated mountain refuge high in the Italian Dolomiti. Rifugi like this are common all over the alps, but usually they’re only open a few months in the summer when they welcome climbers and hikers. You can’t drive or ski to them. This particular place was literally…

Deep in the Swiss Alpes Vaudoises, just above the salt mines of Bex and at 1260 meters above sea level there is one of the most magical hectares of land Michael and I have ever visited. We stumbled upon it, quite by accident last summer when we were touring aimlessly through the region. We’d taken a detour onto a small…

We’ve been making our signature CRACK since the day we opened at La Petraia. These addictive crackers have become quite popular over the years. I’ve shared the recipe with countless guests who now make their own at home and some people have even tried to persuade me to start a cracker business. I think this could…

I’m crazy about legumes. For years we have been growing our own and for years I’ve been saying its time to stop. They are relatively cheap to buy after all, and extremely labour intensive to grow. Especially because at Petraia we dry them on the plant and harvest each pod only when it is perfect. This…

Like all the baking I do this bread is semi-sweet and made with honey instead of sugar. It has just enough sweetness to highlight, not overwhelm all of the other ingredients. The result is a really interesting cake with complex and balanced flavors. I use honey because, unlike sugar, honey adds not just sweetness but flavor too. Especially if you choose a varietal honey like…

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