Luxury Hotels

Castelfalfi, continued

Many come to Preferred’s Tuscan delight, Toscana Resort Castelfalfi, for the golf. Both courses – the 18-hole Mountain Course is complemented by a nine-hole Lake Course on flatter terrain – are designed by the passionate Dr Arch Wilfried Morodor and his professional colleague, Rainer Preissmann.  Morodor was on hand, last week, for the opening of the new Golf Clubhouse, which is evolving into a country club. The Callaway-centric boutique is adjacent to a first-class casual restaurant.  Start any meal with Aperol, a Campari product of cinchona, gentian and rhubarb mixed with soda water, and, naturally, proceed to the estate’s own Tenuta di Castelfalfi wines, perhaps Cherchiaia Chianti, and IGT San Piero Toscana (it also has over 10,000 Frantoio, Moraiolo, Leccino and Pendolino olive trees, producing sublime oils to go with Castelfalfi just-baked ‘real’ breads). The official Clubhouse opening, by TUI’s CFO, Sebastian Ebel, proceeded to a cornucopia of food carts, offering truffle bites, Tuscany cold cuts, pastas, salads and meats through to dozens of cheeses and, of course, tiramisu.

Two happy Castelfalfi home-owners, from the US and Germany, soaking up October sun

There were two evenings like this, one for local dignataries and golfers, the other for owners of the complex’s 40-restored houses and apartments, owned by people from many lands who appreciate the new-luxury of space and genuine experiences. Designer Stefano Rossi was one of the first to buy, here. Everyone, resident or hotel guest, also appreciates Castelfalfi’s commitment to sustainability, which includes several tennis-court-sized fields of ground-set solar panels.

At both of these Clubhouse evenings, Castelfalfi GM, Isidoro Di Franco was in his element, bouncing from group to group: his strategy here, he says, is to pair hospitality and real estate to produce a community. To that, add in the experiences that, Girlahead truly believes, makes true 2020-luxury so worthwhile.

Let us relive Castelfalfi’s truffle-hunting experience: Matteo, see above, has exclusive use of Castelfalfi’s woodland, fortunately heavy in oak and sparse in grass. His eight-strong dog pack, all males, always operate in the same pairs. They rush off, their tails working overtime when they detect a smell 30-40 cm underground. Using his vanghetto long-handled dibber, Matteo rushes up, allowing the dog to scrabble madly too. Within five minutes the first beauty was unearthed, €60-worth of the most valuable white fungus (€2,000/kg). In 40 minutes Matteo had two white, two winter black (€800/kg): the rain 10 days ago helped, he says. Only one truffle comes up per tree per year. January-April he might find small whites, May to August is summer black season.  He normally starts pre-dawn, will hunt for four hours and then go home for breakfast, say ham, bread, perhaps eggs, perhaps old cheese topped with honey and truffle crumbs, and a glass of local red wine.  Truffles must never be frozen: keep in the fridge, use within a week and only clean, with a nail-type brush and a little water, immediately before using. White truffles are for pasta and meats, black for dairy. Matteo sells direct to restaurants and he has a little shop, which also sells his truffle oil – and his truffle honey. See the video below and understand why Girlahead loved her stay so much: