On this trip, we get the privilege to travel to all sorts of vineyards, which seems like a dream come true. It doesn’t even feel like school to me, but La Braccesca Estate in particular absolutely blew my mind. I felt like royalty from the second we arrived and were greeted with sparkling wine, all the way to our complementary lunch and departure. Apart from it’s beauty and modern elegance, this Estate is special because it is located across the Montepulciano and Cortona boarder, meaning they are able to grow two entirely different styles of wine. We received a tour of the grounds. The vineyard spanned 1,500 acres of grapes, so the part we saw was only a very small portion of the vineyard, even though it spanned as far as the eye could see. Then we entered the winery where the enologist keeps massive steel containers for fermentation. In the basement, they kept the wine in French oak barrels for aging. There were thousands of identical oak barrels in perfect lines and columns. Being able to see everything we’ve been learning in action really made the experience more special. It also helped me make connections from the class room and solidify the information in my head. We returned back the main area for lunch and wine tasting. When we walked into the picturesque room, a line of fancy cheeses, breads, and meats awaited us. We tried four wines of Syrah and Sangiovese/Merlot blends along with our appetizers and a savory penne pasta. To finish, we had an Aleatico dessert wine with strawberry shortcake, which saturated my my mouth with sticky sweetness. My stomach and heart were so full and content after this trip, I just wanted stay there forever.