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Tuscan Inn Partners with Local Aficionada

Buonconvento,, Italy, September 19, 2011…Borgo Finocchieto, a unique 22-suite hostelry in the heart Tuscany, offers beautiful landscapes, flawless service and deluxe accommodations.  It also offers guests a magical foray into the world of wine…from a women’s point of view. 

Just down the road from the Borgo, in Buonconvento, lives Annalisa Tempestini, a thoroughly engaging young woman whose life is wine, and whose philosophy has become intertwined with the Borgo’s.

The relationship between Annalisa and Borgo Finocchieto began well before the Borgo opened in 2008 after six years of meticulous renovation by owner John Phillips. In 2000, this tiny thirteenth-century village and its central piazza were virtually in a state of total ruin.  Mr. Phillips, a visionary in a new millennium, teamed with local planners and designers, and then a crew of builders, all of whom were passionate veterans in the restoration of historic buildings using traditional materials and methods. His goal was to be absolutely faithful to history, sourcing the special insights of local professionals as well as artisans in food, wine and culture.  The Borgo was to become a place of conviviality and creativity. And here enters Anna Lisa Tempestini -- local, passionate wine maker.

A dual citizen of Italy and the United States who was raised in Florence and is a         twenty-year resident of nearby Buonconvento, Annalisa met John Phillips in the early stages of his planning for the Borgo.  She was intrigued by John’s philosophy and his dream for the Borgo.  Prior to the Borgo’s taking its first guests, she served as the Borgo’s consultant in the design of its wine program and the selection of its wines. These wines are largely from small Italian vineyards and not available in the States 

But Annalisa’s great interest is women and wine.  She heads a local organization of women-only vineyard owners.  She is also a prominent member of the governing society of the Orcia her region’s DOC (consortium of independent wine producers), and consults informally at friends’ wineries in the Brunello region. Annalisa’s husband, the winemaker at Altesino in the storied Montalcino area, relies on her often to understand the subtle differences in women’s palates. Reflecting her prominence and knowledge, Annalisa was recently featured in a book titled 100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go.

“Women have a special sense of smell, since we are more used to it with our creams and perfumes”, says Annalisa. “We tend to be more open and more sensitive, while a man tends to experience things more rationally or more technically. A woman’s feelings can often be more immediate and imaginative, more empathic.”

Whenever the Borgo hosts a small group, Annalisa is available to interact with them to impart her unique perspective on wines.  Recently, she did a special tasting there for a group of lawyers, including the wines produced by her friends in the region, many of whom are women.  When a group of women painters was staying at the Borgo, Annalisa led them on a tour of friends’ wineries, sharing these vintners’ unique personal stories.  Annalisa finds that women these days often travel with other women, and many of these who come to Italy orient their travel to food and wine. Aided by Anna Lisa’s knowledge and experience, these women can discover the subtleties of their female palate. Part of her tours can be cooking a dinner (with wine of course) at a local woman’s house – often on her own.  

With the Borgo, Annalisa designs all her itineraries in advance.  She questions the Borgo’s guests to know a bit about their palate and tastes and what they might drink at home.  She makes sure the wineries’ owners are there when she takes her small groups to visit.  She shows them places they wouldn’t find on their own, sometimes wandering off the beaten track to take nature walks.  Of course she takes special pleasure in sharing her own personal winery, Martin del Nero, which recently received the appellation of the Orcia DOC.

Reflecting her reputation as a wine aficionada, Annalisa has been hired by, among other groups, Goldman Sachs and Salomon Brothers to select wines for their cellars.

“Wine is not just a beverage,” Annalisa emphasizes. “There has to be passion in producing it, and women are very good at appreciating wine’s rich subtleties.”

The Borgo‘s relationship with Anna Lisa is not unusual.  Owner, John Phillips has created a world that lures local and international artisans who share their unique passion for the area.  Food is prepared from locally grown produce and by an established chef with nearly 30 years experience in classic Tuscan cuisine. Itineraries are designed by natives like Anna Lisa who know where to uncover the hidden history.  A yearly art in residence program is underway that offers the Borgo’s hospitality and splendid environs to a selected painter.  It has become a place for history and ideas hosting lovers of music, philosophy, science and the arts.

Borgo Finocchieto encompasses twenty-two bedrooms and suites arranged around a central piazza. The Manor and Village Houses offer a variety of accommodations for grouping friend and family units.

In addition to its guest accommodations, the Borgo has a world of gathering spaces and recreational facilities to explore. The Manor House features a cozy bar, wine-tasting room attached to the historic cantina, a small family dining room and a larger formal dining room.  The Borgo is uniquely suited to host special family gatherings, reunions of old friends, and creative retreats.

For reservations and information, call toll free (800) 225-4255 or (802) 457-5280.  For press information and photography, contact Martha Morano at
(212) 860-5566 or mmorano@sanctuare.com
TEL: 0577 80981 FAX: 0577 809019

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