The Story: This is where it all began.
While we were filming the TV show in Tuscany, I was helping Rob and Altaff to get the fire going. The fire ran the whole farmhouse’s hot water and heating so it was pretty crucial we got it going. Marco, one of the fixers, came over to help and after mentioning I was interested in the wine industry he said, “you need to meet my friend.”
Now, I have discovered that when someone says this to you in Italy, it’s always going to be an adventure you’ll never forget.
We arranged to meet Stavros at Castel Porrona, a big castle in the local village and the place I would end up living for 2 years. We met Stavros and he was… a Stavros! Big, tash, britches, pot belly, cigarette on the go and a big welcoming smile. We followed him to his house and were immediately blown away by how beautiful the setting was – big open doors facing out onto the Tuscan hills and serene music quietly playing on massive speakers. We talked to Stavros about the show and why were were there and the boys said “Rob (me) he’s the wine guy” so Stavros poured me a glass of his wine…
I started talking about the flavours and the structure… Stavros just smiled and refilled my glass. We sat there for hours talking and drinking, talking and drinking. The production crew called to ask where we were and demanded that we had to get back for dinner. So we staggered out of there that day, with the tastes of the wines still rolling around our palettes and the echoes of the music in our ears.
I knew that these wines were incredible and needed to be shared with everyone in the UK.