A lot.  Our restaurant and guest rooms are closed this year but still we’ve been busy with wine tastings and the introduction of our long awaited red wine to the world.  Since we pair each of our wines with a small taste, I’m working every day in the kitchen. Then there is the vegetable garden, the vineyards…

Since we bought Petraia we’ve planted lots of other plum trees. In our frutteto there are biricoccolo, suregio, susincocco, Paviot, Claudina, Sorriso di Primavera, Mascina, Santa Rosa and Mirabella plum trees. Every other year they fruit abundantly, producing sweet, succulent plums. But we only get to enjoy this fruit if we can manage to pick it…

The biggest highlight of our trip was seeing so many real cows with horns grazing contentedly in their high summer pastures.  Cows, essential creatures for the perfect implementation of  biodynamic agriculture have long been a fascination for us.   This photo essay by Michael gives credence to the majesty of these beautiful beasts and also perhaps a glimpse…

It’s long been a dream of ours to traverse the alps on this famous route. The road was built in the first part of the last century so early motor car enthusiasts could drive across the highest passes in the French alps, from Lake Leman to Nice. This year, to celebrate Michael’s birthday, we finally made it…

As promised here is the second installment of my Askinosie post, all about how we use this excellent chocolate in our pastry kitchen. At the end of each Petraia tasting we send out a parting gift, an assortment of house-made chocolates we call “ Petraia Rocks”. The name is a play on words of course. La Petraia…

  Here it’s called levistico or sedano di montagna.  This alpine herb loves Petraia and I love it. We throw the leaves into salads to add some mystery and we make lovage sorbet and gelato. I whiz the tender leaves into grape seed oil and strain it to use as a condiment for our fresh lovage…

Introducing Lyle Rose. Lyle recently returned to Petraia after spending four months somewhere. We’re not sure where exactly. Just like the song says, we thought he was a goner. But he’s back with this exciting 2 ½ minute video. Turn up the volume and switch to full screen to enjoy Lyle making his evening rounds in…

It’s the middle of May and Chianti is covered in white blossoms and smells like heaven. Aromatic acacia and elder flowers have taken over the landscape and our roses are in full bloom. Here these blossoms are  fried in pastella, a simple flour and water slurry and the resultant nectar-filled elder and acacia flower fritters are served either lightly…

At Petraia we work with Maria Thun’s biodynamic planting calendar and our sewing, harvesting, pruning and trimming is governed by the different lunar and planetary cycles that affect plant growth. Each month there are different days, and in some cases different hours of the day propicious for planting or harvesting fruit, flowers, leaves or roots. In the orto…