Italy Dinner
Bailliage of Toscana Francigena
Lucca, August 7, 2020
Leonardo-esque splendour and wonders
" It was an evening for the memory book "

The Bailliage wished for 50 selected members and guests to anticipate the coming glories of Italy’s Grand Chapitre to be held in Lucca this October … including an evening dedicated to Tuscan excellence.

The event "Leonardo da Vinci: the Table, the Food and the Wine" was held in the prestigious Tuscan residence Villa Santo Stefano of the Reitzle family. Leonardo-esque splendour and wonders par excellence!

Wolfgang Reitzle, the renowned and respected German business executive, bought the famous "Villa Bertolli" in 2001 intending to convert it into a simple holiday home.

The area, submerged by the sea up to 300 million years ago, is rich in marine minerals and volcanic ash. Wolfgang and his wife, Nina Ruge, named the villa in honour of the nearby 9th century parish church and were inspired to create a vineyard. Thus the Villa Santo Stefano estate was born.

Having discovered the unique heritage they had inherited, Wolfgang and Nina aimed for excellence in the wine and olive oil business involving the best experts in the sector. The results came quickly. Today over 35,000 bottles of red, white and rosé wine are produced with delightful names such as Loto, Sereno, Gioia and Luna. The estate also produces 2,000 litres of exquisite extra virgin olive oil, the winner of several awards for its elegance and finesse.

On the evening of our event Nina and Wolfgang welcomed members and their guests into the splendid gardens and reception rooms of the Villa. We tasted the quality products with the assistance of Alessandro Garzi, Villa Santo Stefano’s Agronomist and Administrator, Oenologist Alessio Farnesi assisted by Nadia Dridi. All under the careful supervision of Manager Petra Pforr, who is responsible for marketing, events and distribution.

Dr Pforr introduced the enchanting history of the company. At Villa Santo Stefano there is more - the desire to fully exploit the potential of the enchanting landscape of Tuscany. Its particular soil and special climate produce an exceptional olive oil and wines which perfectly accompanied the gastronomic products and Tuscan dishes. Chef Giuseppe Scarpellini, owner of Del Carlo Catering, interpreted it all exquisitely.

Bailli Giovanna Elettra Livreri and Vice-Chancelier Dr Marzia Frascatani were honoured and delighted to welcome many notable guests to this "Leonardo da Vinci: table, food and wine" event.

It was certainly an evening for the memory book. We were so privileged to experience Tuscan excellence as we anticipated the coming glories of Italy’s Grand Chapitre.

Giovanna Elettra Livreri