Vignette Design has long been one of my favorite blogs. Her aesthetic prowess is mind-blowing because her beguiling work has such verisimilitude—it never seems forced or over done—it just seems TRUE. Her rustic lux appeal is evidenced clearly in her European flair for design. I’ve had the honor of emailing back and forth with her before and I’ve told her that I believe she is one of the most truly European designers. I consider that a supreme compliment.
There’s always such texture, such earthiness to her work. Tactile, varied, alive with items you absolutely want to reach through the computer screen and touch. However elegant and grand some of her designs are, because of their innate rusticity (with the aforementioned texture via antiques, stone and wood accents amidst copious collections assembled lovingly over time along with a palette that can be both subdued as well as boasting rich, bold color) I have always known that I could feel safe and comfortable there amidst the exquisite surroundings.
From her highly detailed tablescapes to her outdoor spaces to die for, her homes in California could just as easily be in Europe, especially her Asti residence. That particular place evokes the genteel grandeur of Tuscany, so I’ve long associated her with the area. When I knew we were moving to Italy I realized I’d finally get a chance to check my hypothesis that her work paid homage to the iconic Tuscan region. I was right. Without a doubt.
For those of you who follow Delores, doesn’t the photo above just scream “Vignette Design?” It did to me.
(AND PLEASE CLICK ON THESE PHOTOS TO SEE THEM COMPLETELY!!!)
And the landscape photos in this post, those rolling hills and vineyards, around Siena and Montalcino, where we went for a wine-tasting, evoke her Asti residence.
So, this post will be an ode both to the captivating Montalcino, Italy as well as to Delores and her stunning Vignette Design blog!!!
In Montalcino we visited the winery of Mario Ciacci and his family. It was truly a family affair with his wife and son bustling around and sharing their place with us. As if the surrounding vistas weren’t enough to know that we were in for a treat when we arrived, these gloriously rustic doors announced to me that I had found a haven. And a heaven. They led to La Cantina Museo di Montalcino where we were shown ancient and vintage items from the winery’s past.
I immediately wanted to move in. But, if the actual winery was too much to ask for, I’d settle for the potting/work shed, that you can see above, outside of the winery. Seriously. I’d live there. I would work as their yard girl if I could let the history that is this place wrap its arms around me each night.
LANA WILL WORK FOR WINE.
And more door hardware with the rustic lux essence that has long been my desire.
And an entire museum dedicated to WINE! I love all things about wine. The taste. The colors. The bottles. The barrels. The corks. The various accoutrements.
I’m going to share this shot with Tabletop Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life. Some olive oil in beautiful decanters along with wine and grappa di Montalcino on an antique table with GLORIOUS RUSSET & BURNT UMBER COLORS.
Please let me warn you, though, if you’ve never had Grappa. To say that it’s potent stuff is a powerful understatement. At our wine tasting we set next to a fantastic Navy Captain and his equally fantastic wife. After his shot of Grappa di Montalcino he said, “You know, I’ve never really had a lot of hair on my chest before. I do now.”
And my response???
“I now have hair on my chest, too!!!”
Seriously, folks. That’s some STRONG STUFF.
Back to the Rustic Lux appeal of this venerable winery in Tuscany!!! These chairs above, in all their worn leather glory, SHOULD HAVE COME HOME WITH ME. Look at the nail head trim. The patina here is TO DIE FOR!
Can you imagine this winery before there was electricity? This place is hundreds and hundreds of years old. I bet this lantern was vital to life then. I love it.
I bet it has plenty of stories to tell if it could talk.
But you know what? It DOES speak to me.
I adore this pile of wine corks. The corks, with their vermillion tips but a slighter hue of the intense not quite black and not quite red, (that’s what Brunello means!) but almost brown of the famed Brunello di Montalcino wine, are divine.
I can't wait to share this post with Centstational Girl's Travel Fest!
I promise on my honor that however much I adore the Brunello di Montalcino wine that I did NOT drink all of the bottles that birthed this mass of corks!!!
And check out the vivid green of this amazing contraption that was used to help let off the carbon dioxide from the fermentation process while keeping the air out of the wine casks.
I am interested in starting a collection of these.
Walking around the winery and seeing the bottles stacked in various stages and ages made me feel like I was in a Willy Wonka dream for grown ups!!!
The shot above is one of my favorites. These bottles are aging.
The dust, so thick with magnificent time.
I'll be sharing this with Life With My 3 Boybarians/Sweet Shot Tuesday.
For the actual wine-tasting, our group sat together at a long table. This row of multiple glasses and bottles of olive oil was stunningly alive with glistening light.
And here’s Mr. Ciacci himself. I wish I’d gotten a full body shot of him because this was as he was standing up on a tree stump and introducing himself and his family’s winery. With the verdant splendor of Tuscany’s rolling hills in the background, this charming man spoke with such passion about the history of Montalcino and his beloved Brunello. Because we had a translator, he spoke in his original Italian and his words rolled and plunged and rose and rolled and plunged and rose again, an aural echo of the visual landscape surrounding us. He was so dapper!!!
One last landscape below (again, please click on the photo to enlarge it to see the full length) of the beauty that is Montalcino and Tuscany.
I loved this place beyond my ability to adequately convey it.
I am so thankful that I have Delores’ blog to follow, though, so I can still be transported back to Tuscany via her tremendously wonderful work long after I’ve left Italy!!!
Lana In Italy