Getting settled in Tuscany

A few weeks in now and what an adventure it has been.  I have had my two friends over who are thinking about going into business with me, I have had the camera crew follow me around again.  I have moved into my own apartment and, I have selected the first group of wines I want to export.  It’s been a very busy couple of weeks since I put my feet back down on the ground in Tuscany.

I took a few days out to catch my breath after the drive from the UK, and to catch up with my friends here, I set about sourcing wines.

My first task was to meet with my friend Giulia at her winery.  Once there we did a tasting of her wines, plus wines from producers she had been in contact with.  Next, I spent a solid two weeks travelling the length and breadth of Tuscany with my friend Giulia and her partner Samuele.  We went to meet small family run producers that she knows that don’t export to the UK.  As fun as this all sounds, it’s a tough job, Tuscany isn’t a small place, meeting people, trying to explain what I am going to set up, struggling to understand the language, trying to come up with different superlatives to describe wines, other than “it’s well rounded, well balanced” and so on.

By the end of the two weeks we were all shattered.  We had formed a nice working relationship, Samuele telling us as proud as punch that he is a Justin Beiber fan, which brought some odd looks and lots of laughter as we travelled from winery to winery.  From all of our hard work I had managed to collect almost 100 samples of white, red, pink and fizzy wines.

Next, the production team came back to Tuscany to film some follow up footage, to see where some of us were with our journeys.  After a couple of hours of one on one interview I had to shoot to the airport and pick up Otto and Gregor.

It was incredibly good to have a couple of friends to stay for a few days, even if it was mostly business, it was still a good laugh.  We started with dinner in town on the Sunday night, a few laughs and lots of wine.  Monday was a day of tasting and being filmed by the production team.  Tuesday we went out to see a couple of lovely little wineries and let the boys try wines and meet a couple of producers, all while being followed by a camera crew.  The drive home on Tuesday night was a time for us to catch up on the visit, and the guys were very impressed by the work I had done, how I had managed to achieve so much in such a short space of time.  All in all, the guys were over the moon, and we forged the next stage of Jackson and Seddon.

Almost a week on now, the TV show has been confirmed to go on the air the week of 13th of March, BBC 2 at 9pm.  So a pretty premium spot.

I have spent the past week writing wording for the website, the “our story” section.  I have moved into a little apartment in the grounds of a castle, I just missed out on a part time job (yep, I gotta work too) and I have had my first real experience with rural Italian shopping, in that, I went to the butchers and asked for a whole chicken.  Now, when you walk into the supermarket and see a chicken in a packet you know you take it home, whack it in the oven and a couple of hours later you’ve got what you know as roast chicken.  Well, when you get a whole chicken in rural Tuscany, you get a WHOLE chicken.  After a little sign language (thumb across throat), I managed to get the butcher to remove the head and feet, and tonight I make my first roast chicken of many in Tuscany.



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