Have you ever wondered, why wine bottles are not all equal? There are bottles of different colors, texture and even size. Borgo Grondaie  wants to share with you our discover.

 Before, let’s take a step back in history, to know when and where the people began to store wine in bottles.

 Studies say that storing wine in glass bottles dates back to the XVIII century, when in France began producing the first bottles of blown glass.

Nowadays,  bottles are presenting with different shapes, colors  and sizes. The bottle color and shape can play a role in how the wine ages, because the air will come in contact with the wine in different areas depending on the bottle.

The main purpose of the bottle is to minimize the passage of light coming through the glass. The ray of sunshine will make the wine fake and it’s for this reason that especially for wines that will not be consumed young and red wines, dark glass bottles are preferred.

In a commercial context the size of the bottle more used is (0,750 liters), the ideal container for quality wines suitable for aging allow a harmonious and practical for the commercial operations of storage and shipping, also if there are any various sizes (from 0.1875 l up to 130 l).

In addition to the classic standard size, there are larger sizes, the Magnum from a liter and a half, the three-liter Jeroboam, etc.. and half a bottle of 0,375 or 0,500

Here are the namesand sizes of thepopular formats



40 BOTT.



20 BOTT.



16 BOTT.



12 BOTT.



















0,375 LITERS





Let us look atthe different types:

tipologie bottiglie WHY WINE BOTTLES ARE NOT ALL EQUAL? 

BORDOLESE (1):The Bordeaux, originally from the Bordeaux region, the bottle is more prevalent in the market. It is usually dark red wines while generally transparent or light green to white ones.

BORDOLESE A SPALLA ALTA (2):deriving from above, this form gives greater elegance and is then used to fine details and red wines.

CHAMPAGNOTTA (3):indicated for classic method sparkling wines or champagne, the glass of this bottle, has a greater thickness since it must withstand the pressure exerted by the wine.

CHAMPAGNE CUVEE (4):derived from the previous one, it has a wider base and a longer neck.

RENANA O ALSAZIANA (5):perfect for storage of white wines, this bottle comes with a cylinder-conical shape more stretched tapered. This type of bottle is coming from the cellar of the Rhine, Germany.

MARSALESE (6):as his name indicates, this is the bottle used for storage of Marsala. The glass is dark brown or black.

ALBEISA (7):is generally used for the preservation of red wines of Piemonte. The bottle is dark to allow a better refinement of the product.

BORGOGNA O BORGOGNOTTA (8):this bottle green color is often used for the preservation of the great wines of Burgundy. Characterized by a cylindrical-conical, in the past it was used interchangeably for white and red wines.

BOCKSBEUTEL O PULCIANELLA (9):rounded in shape and green in color. Used for storage of red wines of Franconia.

PORTO (10):generally used for fortified Iberian wines such as Port or Sherry, it often presents with different shades of green or brown.

ANFORA (11):  is generally used in France for the bottling of the wines of Provence. Some Italian companies use it for storage of Verdicchio

Almost all the bottles are used, as well as in the format of the capacity of 750 cl., In size from 375 cl., Said “half“, and in size from 1,500 cl. Called “Magnum”.
The color of the glass used ranges from white to amber, brown, green, shades lighter to darker. Especially for wines intended for aging more or less long in the bottle, it is preferable to use glass very dark, and recent studies have produced compounds that allow to obtain a filtered light for optimum wine storage.


Here a photo of Borgo Grondaie Wine Cellar.




The passions…

If  it is true that the passions rule the world and the land of Tuscany and Siena’s territory are known to create great passions in the hearts of those coming to visit us. One of all … the wine!

chianti spring 600x380 THE PASSIONS RULE THE WORLD

Source: www.intravino.com

The true lovers of wine are familiar with the rules governing the wine with the name ” Chianti Classico” 

For all others who are passionate about wine, as we are in Borgo Grondaie, but that are not involved in the daily production of what is called the “nectar of gods”, let us introduce you to some of the rules that make the wine a “Chianti Classico” D.O.C.G. (controlled designation of origin guaranteed)

For example do you know that Sangiovese grape is the real soul of Chianti Classico: typical of these areas , the Sangiovese grapes more than any other is able to represent the characteristics of the ground where it grows succeeding to lend the grape aromas and flavors that send you back to areas of origin ( as a floral bouquet refers to the sandstones , the aroma of berries to the limestone and the smell of fresh tobacco to tuff ) by maintaining the scent of violets that characterizes this incomparable wine.

Along with Sangiovese, other red grapes can be present in a maximum of 20 %,  , such as Canaiolo and Colorino , and those “international” , such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, recommended and / or authorized in the production area .

Among the major organic characteristics are: the ruby color that can sometimes become intense and deep , the scent with floral notes combined with the typical character of red fruit, the smooth taste,  the minimum alcohol content of 12 degrees for the young wine and 12.5 degrees for the reserve , the minimum dry extract content of 24 g/l and the total acidity of not less than 4.5 g/l.

Production factors : the yield of grapes per hectare may not exceed 75 quintal  after 4 years from plant and the yield of grapes into wine can not be greater than 70% , which is 52.50 hectoliters of wine per hectare. In addition, the operations of winemaking and bottling must take place exclusively within the production area and the authorization for home consumption is permitted from the 1rst October subsequent to grape harvest. For the Reserve is mandatory an ageing minimum of 24 months , of which at least 3 of aging in bottle.

Also with regard to the label . The label must indicate ” Chianti Classico” with the specification of ” Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin ” , one of the most prestigious awards for Italian wines , and highlight the year of production of the grapes.

Wine is the poetry of the earth, Mario Soldati writer and director


Carnival of Foiano

Every year, during the month of February, very close to Siena takes place the beautiful Carnival of Foiano with the participation of adults and children coming from all the province.

 Carnival of Foiano

If the departure is from Siena, you’ll have to go in the direction of Perugia and exit at Foiano della Chiana.

Few days ago the first parades began after noon and the party was further enhanced by the organization of traditional dances of Ecuador. Who is writing this post is Gabriela, the new entry in Borgo Grondaie team. My origins are from Ecuador that is why this event make me feel proud and closer to my country.

rustici carro Carnival of Foiano

Fonte: pagina Facebook Carnevale Foiano

The protagonists of the Carnival are the 4 groups: AZZURRI, BOMBOLO, NOTTAMBULI & RUSTICI.

To discover the origin of these Carnival groups we have to come back to the last century. During the year, each group works hard to build a parade float, they choose a float design and with an allegorical theme (freely chosen by each group).

To avoid wrong behaviour and external aid, the float construction takes place in the same building.

home bombolo mas Carnival of Foiano

Fonte:  Carnevale Foiano

The artisans work with passion without receiving any compensation.

The floats parades are judged by a jury composed of 5 professionals: a designer, a painter, an art critic, a sculptor and a journalist.


An atmosphere of joy and happiness as the floats parades are passing by, many smiles and lots of confetti! An experience not to be missed!

Last Sunday of Carnival , the verdict will be read following the funeral of King Giocondo: the King of Carnival.

At this point of King Giocondo’s Testament will be read in the Piazza: it was reading in rhyme by the President of the Carnival all positive and negative passed year events

Upcoming events: sunday 2nd & 9th of march 2014

Ticket Prices:

Ordinary: Euro 8,00

Children under 12: Free

Discount Family: 2 adults + 1 child = Euro 13,00

Group discount of more than 30 people: Euro 7,00


posted by: www.hotelsienaborgogrondaie.com

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Val d’Orcia Tuscany

A week end trip to Val d’Orcia Tuscany – in the south part of Siena area -worth by sure a visit but if you don’t have enough time to see all its territory just Pienza and Moltancino give you the idea of how beauty is this part of Tuscany. For those who have more time we suggest to follow the river Orcia till the castle of Rocca d’Orcia (also called Rocca di Tentennano), just a few meters away from the main town of Castiglione d’Orcia. The castle is open to public and  offers an incomparable view: The near mountain Monte Amiata, the castle of Radicofani , the town of Castiglione and the hot springs just on the opposite slope of the Val d’Orcia, the spa town of Bagno Vignoni.

roccaditentennano castiglionedorcia zoom Val dOrcia Tuscany

The small hamlet of Rocca d’Orcia with its medieval fountains and churches from the 13th century makes you feel back into Medieval time. Here Saint Catherine of Siena learned reading and writing during their stay in 1378

The entrance fee for the castle is 3 euros and it also includes the entrance  to the small museum Sala d’Arte San Giovanni in the center of Castiglione d’Orcia. Here you can admire paintings of Simone Martini, Giovanni di Paolo and Vecchietta.

castiglione03g Val dOrcia Tuscany

Museum and castle are always open on Saturdays and Sundays (10:00 to 13:00 / 16:00 to 19:00).

Have a nice tour!


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Siena Ultramarathon 2014 – 2nd of March

A meeting that opens the new summer season : Siena Ultramarathon 2014. For those not involved in running an Ultramarathon is a race that exceeds the mandatory distance of 42,195 km of a marathon. Siena Ultramarathon will develops its 50,200 km route through some of the most beautiful Tuscan landscapes, with positive altitude of 600 meters. 15.600 km will be of dirt road with  breathtaking views . The departure will be from San Gimignano and the arrival in the Piazza del Campo in Siena .
The route of 50 km is dedicated to those who are trained for marathons or trial . The path will unfold in part on the ancient Via Francigena and will include 10 drinks’ point. .
For non-marathon runners , it will be also organized two shorter paths: one  of 32 km. starting from Colle di Val d’Elsa and one of 18 km starting from Monteriggioni .
A bus from Piazza del Campo is also organized to lead you at any departure points.
The occasion will be to live a day of sport surrounded by beautiful nature as those of  Sienese countryside and the arrival in Piazza del Campo, UNESCO World Heritage Site , will be thrilling .
It will be a race to remember!

big paesaggi 09 LOW Siena Ultramarathon 2014   2nd of March

I want to dedicate this post to a friend of Borgo Grondaie who like me loves running and has a special love for Siena… Wayne … what do you think about a run overseas?

For more information please check www.terredisienaultramarathon.it

posted by www.hotelsienaborgogrondaie.com


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Christmas traditions in Siena. From Lasagne to Ricciarelli

The culinary traditions in Siena manifest itself in all its glory at Christmas. If you are foodies Siena is the place for you.
Our culinary traditions say that  tables have to be particularly joyous, a beautiful centerpiece is a must (my mother had made one colored with vegetables to eat later with the new olive oil ). A volcano of colors: orange carrot, white Belgian salad, red radishes, green celeries, slices of fennels, small tomatoes and small fresh onions.
We started with a self service buffet organized by the fireplace. On the table there were salty delicious cakes with onion and bacon, croutons  with Porcini mushrooms, black croutons, small pieces  with pecorino cheese on.
The first course is as always the legendary PASTA AL FORNO or LASAGNA with handmade pasta and baked in a wood oven that my father lights on  a day before to reach the right temperature in order not to  burn the dishes. Just a note: when you are in Tuscany don’t call it Lasagne alla Bolognese….
lasagne Christmas traditions in Siena. From Lasagne to Ricciarelli porzione lasagna Christmas traditions in Siena. From Lasagne to Ricciarelli
Then, as my tummy was not satisfied, the second course was roast meat cooked in the wood oven: rabbit, chicken, pigeon and lamb … all with roast potatoes!
If you are still not satisfied by my story, it’s time for cakes. Firstly the Sienese sweets: Panpepato (Gingerbread) – which I like more than Panforte because it’s more spicy -, Ricciarelli, Cantuccini (almond biscuits) perfect for Vinsanto wine (sweet wine). Then the typical Christmas sweet  called Panettone (which  my brother takes from Milan in a artisan bakery ). At the end homemade desserts that this year were Crostata with jam,  a soft chocolate cake and a Pinolata.
We drank a Chianti Classico Riserva  and a  2010th  Montecucco Riserva  and with desserts in Vin Santo and….. Grappa that someone drinks with the excuse that it’s good for digestion.
I forgot ….the coffee that at my parents’ house is made only with Moka .
A busy day for the jaws but this is just the beginning because the night of 25th and 26th  we go on celebrating Christmas with relatives and friends with boiled meat and Home made green sauce, anchovy sauce and fruits mustard .
So a marathon …….
And you? What about your Christmas menu? Which is the best dish of the area where you live ?

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Turisti per casa : The Pinacoteca of Siena. Guided theme tours in Siena


Turisti per casa is the name of the guided themed  tours  that every second and fourth Sunday of the month, until February  2014 will take place in the Pinacoteca di Siena at 11 am, just before lunch . Why not to tale advantage from 20% discount that some restaurants  recognize if you show the Pinacoteca ticket



Borgo Grondaie has a special love for  this museum ,  that is why we have  chosen it as the venue for the 2013 edition of the Digital Invasions  Event. In this regard there is this very interesting  post written by Dominique Papi Cipriani, a professional photographer known  at the time of the  Digital Invasion, who recounts with sincere gratitude the experience of that day.

We join with enthusiasm  this initiative, which has allowed us to investigate the origins of the  Pinacoteca collection  and become aware of curiosities related to certain works such as the Santa Petronilla Altarpiece by Ambrogio Lorenzetti and the dramatic story of the beautiful Ghismunda from Bernardino Mei .
The event is organized by the guides of Siena (Federagit) with the support of Confesercenti of Siena.
Therefore it’s a pleasure to  share with you  the calendar of next visits,  time and topics and invite you to participate because it is really worth it.

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A unique experince: Olives Harvest at Borgo Grondaie

Never tried a bruschetta with new olive oil ? If you’ve never tasted one,  ​​a visit to Tuscany in late November-December can not be missed in oder to see Olives Harvest. For olive oil, as for wine, vintages are never the same . Climate , water and soil influence aroma and flavor . Some people like to put garlic on bread but I love to taste the olive oil as it is. Living the oil means take care of  the plant throughout the year, to work hard to peak the olives and get excited to see them squeeze at the oil mill. The olive harvest is almost completely manual.  We strech a large circular tarpaulin under the olive tree , and then the olives are harvested by beating the high branches and combing the lower branches . The secret for a good oil is to take olives to the mill after a few days from the harvest  inj order to avoid  mold development  that could adversely affect the flavor of the oil . This is why at Borgo Grondaie, like all those who have many olive trees, need  more trips to the mill. Any excuse is good  to eat a fantastic bruschetta !

IMGP0306  A unique experince: Olives Harvest at Borgo Grondaie IMGP0308  A unique experince: Olives Harvest at Borgo GrondaieIMGP0308  A unique experince: Olives Harvest at Borgo Grondaie

The bruschetta is definitely the best way to enjoy the new oil.  Remember that for the bruschetta you need  a kind of  bread with  consistent guts. The best are definitely the bread baked in a wood oven and than…..lot of olive oil on!      A unique experince: Olives Harvest at Borgo Grondaie  A unique experince: Olives Harvest at Borgo Grondaie



Do you know that it is possible to make fantastic low calories breakfast cakes using olive oil? If you substitute butter  with olive oil and yogurt can get healthy and tasty desserts.

The recipe for the realization that I propose is from the site http://www.lacucinaimperfetta.com



Ciambella all’olio extra vergine di oliva

Ingredients for a cake of 24 cm in diameter

  • 340 gr. flour
  • 200 gr. sugar
  • 125 gr. white yogurt
  • 120 gr. olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • grated rind of 1 lemon1
  • 1 teaspoonof baking powder
  • icing sugar

Difficulty: Easy
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes

Put in a large bowl or in that of the mixer eggs with sugar and mount them together until the mixture is light and fluffy (if you don’t use a mixer use the electric whisk).

 ricetta1  A unique experince: Olives Harvest at Borgo Grondaie


Add the oil and continue to work the mixture with the whisk.

 ricetta2  A unique experince: Olives Harvest at Borgo Grondaie

Add yogurt

 ricetta3  A unique experince: Olives Harvest at Borgo Grondaie


and the flour where you will have joined the baking powder.

 ricetta4  A unique experince: Olives Harvest at Borgo Grondaie


Also add the lemon zest and mix well with a wooden spoon.

ricetta5  A unique experince: Olives Harvest at Borgo Grondaie

On awell-oiled ring mold, pour  the mixture in.      

 ricetta6  A unique experince: Olives Harvest at Borgo Grondaie


 Bake at 180 degrees and bake for about 30 minutes or until the cake will not become golden brown (do the toothpick test).

 ricetta7  A unique experince: Olives Harvest at Borgo Grondaie

Let the cake cool down, unmold and sprinkle with icing sugar!

 ricetta8  A unique experince: Olives Harvest at Borgo Grondaie


I could tell you a thousand other ways to use the extra virgin olive oil, but I prefer you to come to find out in the land of Tuscany and we hope at Borgo Grondaie


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On November 11th , we celebrate St. Martin, saint and protector of many Italian municipalities and protector of hoteliers, too!
The story goes that at this time in Italy and also in Europe  a strange phenomenon occurs called  the Summer of St. Martin a period characterized by a warm climate and sunny days.
This year Siena has had many sunny days in October with temperatures even over 20 degrees. We are happy that the Summer of Saint Martin will extend this fantastic autumn.
As tradition says, the Summer of Saint Martin lasts 3 days and a little bit ….. do you think is a legend? The climatological cards over 50 years give reason to St. Martin!


sanmartinosimonemartini1 SAN MARTIN SUMMER


New events from Siena Official Guides

Hats off to Siena guides association always very attentive to enhancing and promoting  Siena territory.


From November they will start a series of activities to which Borgo Grondaie would love to give prominence, with the hope that citizens and visitors appreciate the wonderful initiatives.


The first event  I want to point out, perhaps because as a mother I feel the need for activities to carry out with my son, it‘s remarkable.  It is to make known the floor of the Cathedral of Siena to children through the story depicted in the beautiful marble and the discovery of the characters shown.


The event is scheduled for Saturday, November 9th at 15:00  meeting point the ticket office of the Cathedral of Siena. The cost is 6 Euro per child and one adult per child has free entrance.


For more information please contact the authorized guides of Siena through their website www.guidesiena.it

lupa senese 586x446 New events from Siena Official Guides

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