New team members

We would like to introduce Silvia and Karin, our fabulous team for hosting, all sales and visits (among other things). With a background in tourism (both have worked in other wineries in Tuscany, Silvia still organizes e-bike tours throughout the region, and Karin runs her agriturismo), they speak a plethora of languages-Italian, Dutch, English, French, German, and Swiss German, to name a few-and know everything there is to know about Montecalvi, our wines, our olive oil, our history, and our future.

Silvia Napoleon

As the season resumes, you will welcome guests from all over the world to Montecalvi. What are you most looking forward to?

Every year, for those in the tourism industry, there is a period of dormancy (but not true hibernation!) and a period when there is not a single minute to think. Spring is one of those times of great excitement, and getting to know new people every day comes very easy to me, because companionship has always been a fundamental aspect of my life. From the Montecalvi terrace I can already see guests arriving from all over the world, and handing them a glass, I ask them which wine they would like to taste. It always ends with relaxing chats about Tuscany, wine, and the importance of traveling. This is what I look forward to doing from now on until the days start getting shorter again.

In addition to sales and tours in Montecalvi, you also work with restaurants and wine shops around Greve and with distributors. This requires different skills. Is that something you like?

Knowing in advance what a customer expects and what can satisfy them is always a gamble, but for me it is really very exciting! Being kind and welcoming usually helps, whether dealing with a distributor, a caterer, or a visiting customer .

When I present Montecalvi wines, I am confident because I love what I am about to sell. I like this aspect of my work very much.

What is your favorite thing to do in the spring in Greve?

In the spring I like to take advantage of the long days to go out at dusk with my girls, take them to the field behind the house to pick daisies and catch a glimpse of pheasants, hares, deer and the occasional wild boar from afar-the amount of bird song is still unbelievable! At this time of year, the sun begins to warm nature and the scents at sunset stand out so much.

You were born in Greve and studied in Florence. Has the country changed much over the years?

Living in the countryside still gives the opportunity to live at a slow pace. Greve manages to retain its beauty, and I still know almost all of my childhood companions-living in such a place makes you feel like family!

If Montecalvi readers would like to take a tour or hike in the area, what would you suggest?

Montefioralle is a must if you are near Greve. From there it is possible to reach San Cresci (one of the oldest parish churches in the area), Molino al Borro (on foot only) and arrive at the Calcinaia property, then passing by an organic farm that raises goats and produces cheese. Sulla via del ritorno fate un salto a Montecalvi e poi in piazza a Greve, dove potrete cenare in diversi ottimi ristoranti: provate la Bottega del Moro o il ristorante Gallo Nero. It is a spectacular place in every month of the year!

Who is the best butcher in Greve in Chianti?

My father-in-law, Oliviero, in the square in Greve. Now the store is in the hands of my husband Giacomo and his partner Alessio, whom I have known since we were 15 years old! They still learn from Oliviero, who created a big business from this small store. This workshop has worked so much for the old generation and now for the new. Giacomo and Alessio produce their special “sausages,” choosing the best local Tuscan farms.

What is your favorite Montecalvi wine at the moment?

Chianti Classico produced by Tim Manning, our winemaker.

It is a new interpretation of Chianti Classico, without neglecting either its roots or native grape varieties. I find the use of whole clusters in his winemaking ingenious-I like the freshness and elegance that Manning brings to Montecalvi’s wines.

Karin Vroegop Brogi

You were born in the Netherlands, raised in Paris, lived in Africa and Costa Rica, and now live in Greve. It is quite a journey. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Yes, I was born in the Netherlands and with my family I moved to Paris when I was 9 years old. When I was 18, I left Paris for London to study English and stayed there, more or less 3 years, until I met my Italian husband during a vacation in Italy.

We moved to Somalia for about five years, managing a banana plantation for an Italian company. When the war broke out we moved to Costa Rica, still on a banana plantation, but for various reasons after a year we returned to Greve in Chianti (my husband’s family home). My passion for wine, oil and good food was born while looking at the Chianti hills.

You also have sommelier training. Where did you study?

I am an AIS sommelier and studied in Florence.

Don’t you also have a background in olive oil? Tell us a little bit about it? What do you think of Montecalvi’s extra virgin olive oil?

I find the world of olive oil just as interesting as the world of wine, and after getting my sommelier diploma, I decided to also take a course on olive oil that was held in Florence.

Montecalvi’s extra virgin olive oil has a distinctive fruity aroma with a perfect balance of pungency and bitterness with notes of artichoke and fresh grass.

It’s great, how can I not love it?

What is your favorite place to eat in central Tuscany?

This is a really difficult question, there are so many!

But one I particularly like is Chianti Mixology in Panzano in Chianti. It is run by two brothers who focus on green, zero-mile, environmentally sustainable and 100 percent Tuscan products. Thus, abandoning industrial products and switching to an agricultural product. They personally choose the produce and also have a garden where they grow vegetables.

So all their dishes, besides being very tasty, are made with excellent products.

What is your favorite Montecalvi wine at the moment?

I don’t have a favorite Montecalvi wine, they are all good so it’s more a matter of choosing a wine that fits the menu.

However, I often choose Chianti Classico for its versatility. It goes well not only with excellent Tuscan cuisine, but also with particularly tasty fish or ethnic cuisine, which I love very much.

In winter I like more robust wines such as San Piero, which pair perfectly with typical Tuscan dishes such as game. And if you are lucky enough to have a fireplace in your home, I recommend a nice glass of San Piero on a cold winter evening, in front of the fire and with nice relaxing music in the background! You will feel in heaven!