The Goddess Uncorked Discover Your Creative Power in Authentic Tuscany September 11-18, 2017


Step back in time at Castello di Potentino on the slope of an extinct volcano in Tuscany. Dive into artisan activities that are at the heart of Italian culture: picking grapes in the vineyard, pressing them with your feet, making bread from stone ground wheat, making ricotta and pecorino cheese, tasting wine and olive oil, making pasta and risotto, gathering fresh vegetables from the garden…. Rejuvenate with massage, yoga, guided meditation, swimming in the pool or in a nearby waterfall, walking through the woods…. Experience the pleasures of the Italian table. And through these experiences, discover your feminine power, restore your energy and experiment with your own creativity.


Eleanor Shannon

Course Leader 

Eleanor Shannon of Uncorked in Italy, came to Italy to teach in an academic honors program for Italian university students. She experienced her own "uncorking" through a series of adventures: training to become a certified wine sommelier, meeting organic and biodynamic winegrowers, tasting their wines, writing about her experience, taking courses in yoga, dance and meditation, launching Uncorked In Italy, and adapting to daily life in Tuscany. 

Charlotte Horton

Castello di Potentino Owner and Winegrower 

When Charlotte's family first bought Castello di Potentino , it was a remote ruin. With a remarkable vision for what the castle could be, Charlotte set out to restore the building, plant the vineyards, reclaim the olive groves and transform the castle into a working farm. Potentino now makes award winning organic wine and olive oil, hosts guests, holds events and workshops, invites musicians and artists to work "in residence" and more. It is a modern creative center deeply rooted in Tuscan history and culture. 

Roberto Rossi

Owner and Chef of the Michelin Starred "Il Silene" 

Roberto grew up working at Il Silene when it was still a humble trattoria serving traditional fare for locals in a forgotten corner of Italy. With fierce confidence in the undiscovered goodness around him, he set out to transform it into a destination, world class restaurant. His secret recipe is simple but not easy: an unwavering commitment to his roots and to the highest quality, organic, local ingredients . Luckily, he never forgets to have fun along the way.

Nadia Botha Steward

Yoga and Ayurvedic Yoga Massage 

Nadia has traveled and practiced yoga around the world and now lives on the Monte Amiata. Trained in the Ashtanga and Vinyasa Flow traditions, Nadia customizes her classes for the group and for the moment. She also practices Ayurvedic Yoga Massage (Kusum Modak Method) combining traditional Indian deep tissue massage with coordinated breathwork and yoga-based stretching techniques.


The ancient Etruscans believed that the Monte Amiata was the home of their gods and goddesses. They were making wine in wine basins carved from volcanic rock about 2500 years ago (and we will press grapes in one of them).

Helena Attlee’s latest book Lev’s Violin: An Italian adventure was published last year and broadcast as BBC Radio 4’s ‘Book of the Week’. Her bestselling The Land Where Lemons Grow: The story of Italy and its citrus fruit has been translated into several languages and won the Guild of Food Writers’ Book of the Year 2015.

Julian Evans is the author of the acclaimed biography Semi-Invisible Man: The life of Norman Lewis and Transit of Venus: Travels in the Pacific. He has presented radio and TV documentaries, reported from central Europe and written about the war in Ukraine from the frontline.

Saturday 10 September

Arrive in good time to settle in before meeting the tutors and other writers for an aperitivo followed by dinner

Sunday 11 September

Using our senses as a way of expressing experiences and connecting to readers, we explore rooting our writing in the physical
world to bring it alive

Activity: Walking the Potentino valley with a local botanist

Sensory writing Aperitivo and dinner at castle

Monday 12 September

Today is about building skills to commit real people to the page, using their appearance, body language, behaviour and other closely observed details

Activity: Visit to the local market

Free time for lunch in local town

Workshop: Writing people, their settings and voices

Aperitivo and dinner at castle

Tuesday 13 September

We focus on framing a process or an event to make it interesting to anyone, even to those not specifically interested in it

Activity: Local shepherds making ricotta cheese, followed by cheese tasting

Workshop: Finding the universal strand

Tasting the wines of Potentino with Charlotte Horton, followed by dinner with Rachel Roddy

Wednesday 14 September

Today is led by Rachel Roddy, acclaimed author, Italian food expert and Guardian columnist

Activity: Learning to make pasta with Rachel in Potentino’s 13th-century kitchen

Lunch is home-made pasta –
of course!

Workshop: Armed with our
flour-covered notes and thoughts, we will talk and do three generative
exercises. We’ll also look at strategies for writing about food and practical tips for recipe writing, and to conclude will talk about how to find a sustainable, enjoyable writing process and how to balance messy creativity with structure, form – and dinner

Feedback session with Rachel, Helena and Julian

Aperitivo and ‘Getting published’, a question-and-answer session with Derek Johns, drawing on his career as an editor, publisher and leading
literary agent

Dinner at castle

Thursday 15 September

On the final day we take you through a series of invaluable techniques for revising and polishing your work

Workshop: Ultimate editing: putting it all together


Free time to work on your writing

Celebration and sharing of your work

Dinner at a local restaurant

Friday 16 September


[We reserve the right to make changes to this timetable if necessary]

“Julian and Helena worked beautifully together in creating a transformative learning experience. Taking part has raised my standard of what I expect from my writing dramatically”

“I came to Potentino without an agenda, but I leave Potentino inspired to share my stories”

“Thank you both so much for a wonderful experience. I appreciate all your knowledge, generosity and hard work”

Board and lodging at Castello di Potentino

All sessions with Julian and Helena

Pasta-making Workshop and talk with Rachel Roddy

"Behind the scenes in publishing" discussion with Derek Johns

Trips for planned excursions

Last night's dinner at a local restaurant

What's not included


Transfers to and from Potentino (can be booked as an extra)

Meals on planned excursions


Prices vary by room choice and number of guests sharing the room.

A single person is € 2315.

Two people sharing a room is € 2000 per person.

Three people sharing a room is €1895 per person.

Please note

If you would like to pay a deposit

The payment system asks for payment in full. If you would rather pay a non-refundable 25% deposit at the time of booking, please enter the code DEPOSIT25 at checkout. The final payment will be due one month before the start of the course.

If you have any issues booking

Sometimes, it takes a few attempts to clear the cart if you need to make any changes to your room selection etc.

If you have any issues at all, please contact Alexander Greene

The Goddess Uncorked Discover Your Creative Power in Authentic Tuscany September 11-18, 2017

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