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Being both a luxury hotel enthusiast and a Tuscany aficionado the chance to experience Castiglione di Bosco was a dream come true. Driving up the hot, dusty roads around Montalcino in late August was like arriving to a long awaited promised land.
The landscape leading to the hotel is raw, a mix of rocks, scrub and brush broken by the distinct mark of civilization: sangiovese vineyards. It looks too harsh to promise any good hospitality nearby, but like an oasis the hotel rises out of middle of this barely tamed land.
We were on a very short trip and so did not have time to stay on this venture (my travel companions had stayed before, including our Travel Advisor George who first brought this gem to my attention) so we had gone ahead and booked lunch at Osteria La Canonica. The well marked property gave us ample parking and immediately friendly Rosewood staff welcomed us and got us on our way.
Lunch at La Canonica was delightful. Under the shade of a wooden porch overlooking kilometers of Tuscan hillsides we enjoyed savory dishes of pizza and pasta that had layers of flavor. The 2012 Brunello produced by the property was the perfect accompaniment to this blend of herbs grown on site paired with impeccable service and presentation. Even though I’ve not yet had to opportunity to stay, the food is a fantastic foreshadowing of the greatness to come.
After lunch I browsed the property. There sits on the highest piece of land a beautiful yard and the ruins of a castle tower from the 1100’s for which the property is named. After enjoying the view and shade I wandered around to the organic garden. I can say it was the pinnacle of a well kept and flourishing masterpiece, especially since I’m a bit of a avid horticulturalist myself.
Moving down the main thoroughfare of beautifully placed stone I browsed the shops and remarked at the architecture. A small path through the trees brought me out to the glass room gym, which commands an amazing view. On the way back to the parking space I caught the often advertised view of the property: rolling hills in the background, impressive stonework and the beautifully situated pool. The property is a delightful blend of classic and modern, from 1100 to 2017 and everything that is good, nestled into this Tuscan paradise.
The crowning experience was the very last. We stopped by the tasting cantina. While we hadn’t scheduled a tasting, it was still a delightful ad hoc tour of the showcase wines and vintages. Staff talked us through the specifics of the vineyards, Brunello di Montalcino in general with all of the lovely bravado and hospitality for which Italians are famous.
In short this excursion to Casteglion del Bosco I experienced history, food, wine, hospitality, craft and excellence. I say the property embodies Tuscan senses of time and place, because like the great Brunello di Montalcino wine, it has aged gracefully, with bold creativity amidst its ancient ruins and nearly indomitable countryside.