Following our theme for Castello di Potentino’s Study of the Senses programme which centres on the importance of fermentation in food, we are very pleased to have the expert on all things cheese, Juliet Harbutt returning to host a weekend of tasting, talks and a demonstration of cheesemaking at Potentino. She was kindly introduced to us by our great family friend Prue Leith and gave an inspiring tasting course at the castle last year. We all learnt a vast amount about cheese and ate a vast amount as well.
Juliet Harbutt is considered to be one of the foremost authorities on Cheese.
She founded the British Cheese awards.
Her first book was the World Encyclopaedia of Cheese. She also wrote the cheese section in the Oxford Companion to British Food and Drink. Her latest book the World Cheese Book won the Best Food Book in 2010.
Radio 4’s Food Programme recently featured Juliet in their prestigious "My Life in..." series.
The Study of the Senses at Castello di Potentino is a new programme that brings the structure back to life in its traditional role as a hub for the arts and creativity in a modern, dynamic way. As a 21st century castle, Castello di Potentino addresses contemporary issues with reference to the wisdom of the past, through a series of interactive Learning Courses, Master Classes, and Events. Agriculture and viticulture are about growing and living, so eating and drinking well are an important element in the Potentino ethos which is concerned with the sustainability of how we inhabit a place and relate to it physically and mentally. The Events will promote a better hands-on knowledge of food, wine, music, colour, cooking, producing and developing in a mindful way that encourages people to make their own informed decisions about what they like and what they do to their minds and bodies. Mixing traditional ideas with current trends, local with global, working with creative minds, and experts in their fields from all over the world, Potentino will provide the setting for an innovative approach to taste and sensory experience.
Saturday 29th July
Transfers from Pisa airport at 17:30
Wine tasting and introduction to the Castle
Teatro Porco with Fabio our local butcher from Castel del Piano Fabio is a master butcher and prosciutto and salami maker. He will prepare a half pig and show you the classic Tuscan pork cuts before we cook it on the braziers in the courtyard.
This will include an introduction to art of cheese tasting with Juliet.
Sunday 30th July
Cheese and Cheesemaking with Juliet Harbutt and Caseficio Murceti http://www.caseificiomurceti.it
Juliet and the local cheesemakers from Caseficio Murceti will show you how to make a ricotta and pecorino cheeses. Juliet will explain how the recipe is changed to create the 7 keys styles or types of cheese by which all cheeses can be identified.
Lunch – local cheese tasting lunch
Michelin Starred chef, Roberto Rossi from Il Silene will prepare a lunch made from ingredients foraged from around Monte Amiata.
You will be able to take some time and find a spot to read a book or sit by the pool and enjoy the countryside around Potentino. In the early evening, Charlotte will give guests a tour of the Winery. If you would like, a visit to the nearby hot springs can be organized.
A tutored tasting of a superb selection of lesser-known and classic Italian cheeses is the focal point of the dinner. Juliet will talk you through each cheese and explain what creates its unique character and match the cheeses with a number of different wines and grappas from Potentino's cellars. Entertaining and inspirational, the beginning of journey to becoming a cheese addict (if you aren't already). Salads, breads and simple pudding will be served to balance the cheese.
Monday 31st July
On Sunday we will head out into the Val d'Orcia to visit the beautiful gardens at La Foce.
We will be tasting Donata Origo's award-winning olive oils made in her own micropress at the beautiful Chiarentana and have lunch at her beautiful property.
We will have a quiet dinner back at Castello di Potentino where along with Juliet we will be delighted to answer all your questions about what we have covered over the weekend.
Tuesday 1st August
Guests depart after breakfast.
Optional extra nights staying at the Castle can be organized with prior notice.