Tuscan tribute | AspenTimes.com

Tuscan tribute

Keith and Michelle Marlow of Carbondale with baby Payton.

Butterfield & Robinson and Castello di Casole recently collaborated on a special evening in Aspen saluting Tuscany’s fine wines, savory flavors, rich history and inspiring setting for adventure. Guests gathered at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies over Presidents Day weekend for the aprés-ski event, enjoying fine wine and regional appetizers along with a presentation by both hosts.

An expert in luxury travel, B&R offered a glimpse into their trips around the globe with an emphasis on Italy’s most romanticized region. Several of their guides and staff members attended to promote their new trip collection, which, in addition to Tuscany, also includes such destinations as Argentina, the Silk Road, Tibet, Slovenia, Corsica, Sicily and the Black Sea.

According to Cari Gray, B&R’s director of Public Relations, the renowned travel company is closely connected to Aspen, having been involved with the Food & Wine Classic for more than seven years as an exhibitor in the Grand Tasting tents, as well as crafting biking and walking adventures for American Express Publishing VIPs throughout Food & Wine weekend. Aspen is also home to many B&R travelers.For their second annual event at ACES, B&R joined forces with Castello di Casole, a resort near Siena, with Roaring Fork Valley ties. At 4,200 acres, Castello di Casole is one of the largest private landholdings in all of Italy. Twelfth century farmhouse villas are currently being restored into luxurious residences and released to owners as they are completed. In the summer of 2008, the 17th century castello (castle) will debut as an intimate boutique hotel with all of the trappings of Tuscan rusticity combined with modern luxuries and amenities prized by travelers with discerning tastes. It’s also “on the radar screen for B&R’s ’08 biking and walking trips through this scenic area,” added Gray. It will be “perfect for Aspen-active folks.”

Culinary adventures are a big part of any B&R trip, to sample both a region’s most refined cuisine and its cherished traditions. Fine wine and cuisine is also a hallmark to Castello di Casole. For the event at ACES, a visiting chef from Castello di Casole prepared bruschetta and crostini using olive oil made from olives grown in groves on the estate. A SanGiovese/Cabernet blend wine made from grapes harvested on the property was also served.

The modus operandi for life in Tuscany is to step back, relax and enjoy each moment as it comes. “Slow down to see the world” has been B&R’s mantra and guiding philosophy for nearly four decades on the road. In a lineup of biking and walking journeys that now spans more than two dozen countries and six continents, B&R designs each route to immerse their guests in the local culture and reveal a region’s true spirit. For details on trips and activities with B&R, visit http://www.butterfield.com. To learn more about Castello di Casole, click on http://www.castellodicasole.com.

To contact May to send info, insights or invites, e-mail allthewaymaymay@hotmail.com

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