A small geography tutorial if you please: the northern Italian town of Reggio Emilia lies south of Lake Garda, just west of Modena, smack in the middle of Emilia Romagna – culinary-wise one of the world’s most prominent regions (we may have mentioned that a few times already). Home of the Parma ham, the Aceto the Balsamico Traditionale, Parmesan cheese and, to top it off, one of the best restaurants in the world, the Osteria Francescana lead by star chef Massimo Bottura (who is also a member of Pretty Hotels with his Casa Maria Luigia).
Just south of Reggio Emilia nestled in a hilly landscape there are a few wineries that have been there just shy of forever. One of the most famous is the Venturini Baldini winery. Even before getting there the heart of every seeker of romance kicks up a notch: a seemingly endless drive through the vineyards leads up to the estate from the 17th century. Once you reach the top you discover the so called Limonaia, that you would immediately book for a wedding (and you could, because getting married at Venturini Baldini is one of the surprise options!). Walk down an alley of cypresses and you find a lovely swimming pool. Almost hidden, but next to the Limonaia, another building with 500 ancient wooden barrels stacked up to the roof. Inside: Traditional balsamic vinegar, which of course you need to taste … and later buy in the shop below.
The Villa Manodori
After three years of careful restoration, the main Villa Manodori on the estate (it is located at the end of the ensemble, behind the Roncolo 1888 building) is now ready to host guests.
The four new rooms have been decorated and furnished with a lot of grace and style, which honours the heritage of the former hunting lodge. Find art frescoes, paintings, expensive furniture from renowned brands like Molteni and antiques by Gio Ponti.
Please note, that you can also rent the whole house for a special occasion.
Meet the hosts: On this estate, Julia Prestia (who originally hails from Vienna) and her husband Giuseppe produce very fine, organically certified Lambrusco on an area of about 130 hectares. In order to accommodate the growing number of visitors, they decided to open up a guesthouse in one of the buildings on site. It is also located in the main part of the winery next to the main house, the villa Monadori. Inside the ancient building, you find eleven modest yet comfortably furnished rooms. We adored the simplicity of the bathrooms and the quality of the floors and beds. Everything is quite sophisticated here (without being chichi while blending perfectly with the surroundings).
Probably the best part about staying at either the Roncolo or the Villa Manodori is that you actually live together with the farmers on their vineyard. A little further down lies the “factory” of Venturini Baldini. Watch the actual production of the wine if you like. Of course, there is also a tasting room where all Venturini Baldini wines and also the Aceto Balsamico variations can be experienced. Just this year a new Vino Spumante Metodo Classico is on offer. Highly recommendable.
The relais is the perfect place for culinary and wine lovers. Around the small village there are countless great places to eat, the cities of Modena (45 minutes) and Parma (40 minutes) are always worth a visit. Reggio Emilia is also a perfect place for a stopover on the way to Tuscany. Forte dei Marmi with its beaches is only two hours away.
Breakfast is served on the ground floor of the Guesthouse Roncolo 1888. Sit back in a rather rustic yet cozy room, enjoy some fine organic dishes and of course the best Italian coffee. In spring, Venturini Baldini offers a biological brunch on the meadow every Sunday morning in front of the tasting room. And in summer, you will be welcomed to join the Wednesday Aperitivi (“Mercoledi Rosé”) session.
All new is the fine dining restaurant Taglierè in Limonaia. If it’s not too hot, you sit outside on the terrace with a view of the beautiful vineyards and nature. The food is star level, there are specialties from Emilia Romagna and of course an exquisite wine list.
Doubles from 395 euros including wine- and Balsamic vinegar tastings and of course the lovely breakfast.
Booking & Contacts
Tenuta Venturini Baldini