We would like to introduce you to Silvia and Karin, our fabulous ‘front of house’ team for all sales and tours (amongst other things).  With backgrounds in tourism (they have both worked at other wineries in Tuscany, Silvia still hosts e-bike tours throughout the region, and Karin hosts guests at her own agriturismo) they speak a ridiculous array of languages – Italian, Dutch, English, French, German, 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 Napoleone

As the season begins again, you will be welcoming guests to Montecalvi from around the world. What do you look forward to most?

Every year for those in the tourism industry there is a period of dormancy (but not hibernation!) and a period during which there is not a single minute to think. Spring is a time of great enthusiasm, and getting to meet new people every day comes very easily to me, as company has always been a fundamental aspect of my life. From the terrace of Montecalvi I can already picture guests arriving from all over the world, and handing them a glass. I ask which wine they would like to taste – it all ends with relaxing chats about Tuscany, wine and the importance of traveling. This is what I look forward to doing from now until days will be shorter again.

Apart from sales and tours at Montecalvi, you also work with the restaurants and enotecas around Greve and also with the distributors.  That requires a different skill.  Is that something you enjoy?

Knowing in advance what a customer expects and what can satisfy them is rather a gamble – but for me it is indeed very exciting! Being gentle and welcoming always helps, no matter if I deal with a distributor, restaurant or with a visitor.

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

What’s your favourite thing to do in spring in Greve?

In 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 spot pheasants, hares, roe deer and the occasional wild boar from afar… the amount of bird song is still incredible! 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, schooled in Florence.  Has it changed much over the years?

Living in the countryside still gives you the opportunity to take it easy. Greve manages to maintain its beauty and I still know almost everybody from childhood – living in such a place makes your family larger!

If Montecalvi readers wanted to go for a ride or a hike in the area, what would you suggest?

Montefioralle is a must if you are near Greve. From there you can reach San Cresci (one of the oldest parish churches of the area), Molino al Borro (only by foot) and arrive at the Calcinaia property, then pass by an organic farm that breeds goats and makes cheese. On the way back pop into Montecalvi and then on to the piazza in Greve where you can enjoy dinner at any number of good restaurants – try Bottega del Moro or Gallo Nero Restaurant.  This is just spectacular in every month of the year!

Who is the best butcher in Greve in Chianti?

My father-in-law, Oliviero, in the piazza in Greve. Now the shop is in my husband Giacomo’s hands together with his brother Alessio — we have all known each other since we were 15! They still learn from Oliviero, who created a great small business from this tiny shop.  It works for the old generation and now for the new one. Giacomo and Alessio make their own special “salsicce”, choosing the best local Tuscan breeders.

What is your favourite Montecalvi wine at the moment?

Chianti Classico made by Tim Manning, our winemaker.

It is a new interpretation of Chianti Classico, without neglecting its roots or indigenous grape varieties. I find the use of the whole bunches in his vinification ingenious – I love the freshness and elegance he brings to Montecalvi’s wines.


Karin Vroegop Brogi

You were born in the Netherlands, grew up in Paris, have lived in Africa and Costa Rica, and now live in Greve.  That is quite the journey.  Can you tell us a little about it? 

Yes I was born in the Netherlands and together with my family I moved to Paris at the age of 9. At 18, I left Paris for London to study English and stayed there, more or less 3 years, until I met my Italian husband on a holiday in Italy.

We moved to Somalia for about 5 years managing a banana plantation for an Italian company. When the war broke out we moved to Costa Rica, again in 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 began whilst gazing at the Chianti hills.

You are also a trained sommelier.  Where did you train?

I am an AIS sommelier and studied in Florence.

Are you not also trained in olive oil?  Tell us a little about that?  What do you think about Montecalvi’s extra virgin olive oil?

I find the world of olive oil as interesting as the world of wine and after getting my sommelier diploma I also decided to take  an olive oil course which was held in Florence.

Montecalvi’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a characteristic fruity aroma with a perfect balance between spicy and bitter with hints of artichoke and fresh grass.
It’s fantastic, how can I not love it?

Where is your favourite place to eat in central Tuscany?

This is a really hard question there are so many!

But one that I particularly like is Chianti Mixology in Panzano in Chianti. It is run by two brothers who focus on green and zero kilometre produce that is eco-sustainable and 100% Tuscan. Abandoning, therefore, industrial products to turn to an agricultural product. They personally choose their products and they also have a garden where they grow their vegetables.

So all their dishes as well as being very tasty are also made with excellent products.

What is your favourite Montecalvi wine at the moment? 

I don’t have a favourite wine from Montecalvi, they are all good so it’s more a question of choosing a wine to suit the menu.

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

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