November’s not-to-miss event is the Sagra del Tartufo (truffle festival) in San Miniato. This gastronomic event celebrates the king of truffles, the white truffle, which reigns supreme among the picturesque hills of this small Tuscan hamlet.
The Sagra del Tartufo was first held in 1969 and has taken place regularly since then, occurring during the last three weekends of November. Visiting the festival is a life-changing culinary experience. It’s a pilgrimage to discovering the best of Tuscan cuisine in its truest form. Of course, the white truffle takes center stage. Harvesters and producers sell their truffle-laden delights from outdoor stalls. Cheese with veins of truffle running through - it’s a thing! Bechamel-like dipping sauce infused with truffle for freshly cut porchetta - yes, please! Truffle beer - it exists, but approach with caution.
In addition to the white truffle, the festival promotes other local specialities. San Miniato is built atop a hill, and at the summit is the wine tent where local vintners showcase their harvests. One of our favorites is Cosimo Maria Masini, a family-run operation that specializes in producing biodynamic wines. From the tent, you can see the very hills where their grapes are grown and harvested by hand. Of special mention is their Sanforte Toscana Rosso, made from a very rare grape indigenous to San Miniato. Cosimo Maria Masini is largely responsible for the resurrection of this noble varietal. If you like chianti, then be sure to try the Sanforte - it shares some of the same characteristics, but is uniquely different.
On the way down the hill, before dinner at Piazza del Popolo (one of our favorite local trattorias that specializes in pasta with white truffle), be sure to stop at one of the many stalls roasting just-harvested chestnuts over an open flame. They are so naturally sweet, and the perfect snack for a cool fall afternoon.
I have heard about this event several times. I think it’s time to go to Italy again and try these delicacies ;)
Yes, without a doubt you should plan a trip to the Sagra!
I know that Cosimo Maria Masini distributes many of their wines in the US, but I’m not sure about the Sanforte, since its production is quite small. Regardless, all of their wines are delicious, and I know for certain their Sincero can be found at many of the major wine merchants. It’s similarly full bodied and the tannins are well balanced.
All the best,
Yum!! I need to plan a trip in the future! Can I find the Sanforte in the US?