Terra di Seta Winery of Tuscany, Italy won our Best of Kosher Winery as voted on by the JoyofKosher.com community. As part of our winner's series, we interviewed Daniel Della Seta to find out more.
Tell us about you and/or your company:
Since 2001, Terra di Seta winery is part of a family-run organic farm conducted by me, Daniele Della Seta and my wife Maria Pellegrini. The farm is on a hill near Siena, about 1,574 feet above sea level, with a 360 view on the Tuscan countryside of the famous Chianti Classico area.
My family, the Della Setas, comes from an ancient Jewish family that has been settled in Rome for 2000 years, while the Pellegrinis are an old Tuscan family with tradition and experience in wine production.
Since the 2008 vintage, we decided to dedicate the whole grape production (around 37 acres of vineyards) to kosher wine and we built a new cellar, with advanced technologies, especially conceived to facilitate some traditional kosher procedures without compromising the high quality level of the wine, so typical of the Chianti Classico Region.
In Italian “Terra” means both soil, land and earth, and “Seta” means silk, while it is also part of the family name. This brand represents therefore the core of our philosophy ad goal, which is to obtain traditional, excellent, and refined products from this unique land property.
With the same strong combination of care, tradition and technology, we produce extra-virgin olive oil and kosher for Passover honey, and organize a farm holiday accommodation.
Why do you think you won Best of Kosher?
A Jewish family from Israel, enthusiastic after their Summer visit in our kosher winery, wrote us that they nominated us for this contest and invited us to redirect their mail to other guests. This is what we did and, in a really unexpected way, we received a cascade of votes!
Our guest book is full of congratulations to the warm welcome that we gave them: my wife and I simply try to give them what we would like to receive in the same situation. Generally, during a visit guests are guided for a walk inside the vineyard showing them plants and grape growth and maturation, and what we have to do to respect organic and local rules. In the cellar we explain all wine-making tasks adapted for kosher rules. At the end religious people pour the wine for themselves and for all. We also serve a small kosher appetizer with the organic honey and the extra virgin olive oil. When requested, it is also possible to organize a pleasant kosher picnic (from the kosher restaurant in Florence) under the big oak near the winery.
I believe that the warm atmosphere, the breathtaking view, the quality and the typicality of our products are what fascinates our guests. Their vote on your web site is the result!
What are your plans for the coming year?
On December 2011 we bottled the 2009 vintage wine, the Chianti Classico and the Chianti Classico Riserva, ready to be sold from April. With these new products we hope to expand the market in more countries and also to increase the honey and the olive oil trade. With the new wines it will be possible to have a vertical wine tasting, very important to understand the wine potential in the future.
Also, currently we offer accommodations through www.lemacie.it where it is possible to rent an apartment for two or more nights. Currently, it is not kosher and guests have to bring in food from Florence. Many Jewish people that visited the winery asked for a completely kosher accommodation in our area and we are looking for a house in the area to consider this solution.
We would like to suggest below an example of a perfect accompaniment to our red wines.