Tuscany’s Hotel Castello di Casole features 88 acres of vineyards and produces a signature wine, called Dodici, exclusively for guests of the estate. // © 2012 Hotel Castello di Casole
What’s better than spending a leisurely vacation in Tuscany this summer? Spending that leisurely vacation at a restored 10th-century Tuscan castle turned boutique hotel. Nestled between 88 acres of vineyards and 13 acres of olive groves, Hotel Castello di Casole is slated to open its doors to guests on July 1. The boutique hotel, owned and operated by Timbers Resorts of Carbondale, Colo., will feature 41 suites — luxuriously appointed with Carrara marble, Bisazza tiles, Italian fabrics and local antique furnishings.
According to general manager Bart Spoorenberg, the hotel aims to provide unique, one-of-a-kind experiences to its guests, offering everything from an on-site game reserve — home to wild pheasants, deer and fox — to guided truffle hunts and a number of harvest festivities in the fall.
“Harvest season is one of the best times to visit, and guests can participate in the hand-picking of our grapes and olives, which we use to make our very own wine and olive oil,” Spoorenberg told TravelAge West. “Our signature wine, Dodici, is a fruity blend of sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon, merlot and petit verdot. Dodici is limitedly produced and available exclusively to guests of our estate.”
Indeed, guests can savor the hotel’s rare vintage at its two on-site restaurants, the fine-dining venue, Ristorante Tosca, and gourmet pizzeria, Pazzia. Tosca will serve a range of local, Tuscan and Italian cuisine with an emphasis on homemade pasta using fresh local produce from the hotel’s gardens as well as the extra virgin olive oil produced on the estate. In season, game will also be a major element on the menu with wild boar, venison, pheasant and rabbit. The less formal Pazzia will feature a traditional wood-burning pizza oven, an espresso bar and a gelateria.
Formerly a wine cellar, the hotel’s 5,400-square-foot Essere Spa will feature seven treatment rooms with vaulted ceilings, restored stone walls and locally recycled wine cork penny tiles. The spa and wellness center will be complete with pools inspired by ancient Roman baths and a state-of-the-art TechnoGym fitness facility.
Within the hotel grounds sits a restored 18th-century chapel, ideal for wedding ceremonies and private dinners. In addition, an amphitheater with organic stone seating is located on a grassy hillside for private concerts and other events.
Guests will also be able to take part in guided day trips to nearby towns, private wine tours, customized on-site cooking classes and mountain biking along the Tuscan countryside.