Guests of Conti Sertoli Salis: Fine Food and Wine in Valtellina

Part 1: Lunch!

Many moons ago, spurred by a question on, I wandered the Internets, looking up wineries in the nearby region of Valtellina. Several had sites, some gorgeously produced. Sertoli Salis particularly caught my eye because the site was so very beautiful, and I knew the wines to be good, but the English translation was laughable.

Desperate for extra income, I wrote them, hoping to be offered the job of re-translating the site. They replied that, having just spent a lot of money to redo the site, they couldn’t pay cash, but there might be some wine in it for me.

They sent me the files, I translated a small piece and sent it to them, then my life got busy, I changed computers and lost some of the subsequent work I had done. The winery must have liked what they saw: they wrote asking if I could do the rest. Eventually I found the time (and some new wine-related vocabulary) to finish this not-small job and send it off.

NB: The English on the site today is not mine! It will be quite a job to replace the text on the site as it’s mostly embedded in the Flash – an unfortunate mistake made by many Italian web designers. The site is still well worth visiting for the beautiful photos.

I therefore had a standing invitation to visit the palazzo and winery for a tasting and a gift of “our very best wines”. Finally, last Saturday, we were able to make good on this offer.

Enrico and I set out with Pancrazio (a TVBLOB colleague) and Emanuela. Between bad weather and traffic we were an hour late for our lunch reservation at Ristorante Jim, which meant that we had to rush, while this fine establishment deserved more leisurely attention! Jim offers very interesting seasonal menus (in addition to a far-from-boring regular menu); this time the specialty was mushrooms and wild game.

porcini soup

Emanuela and I started with a vellutata di porcini (wild boletus mushroom soup). Oh, my. That was special. I want to go back and eat more of that.

The boys had tagliatelle al sugo di lepre – home-made egg pasta with wild hare sauce. Very gamey, very tasty.

For secondo, Emanuela had bocconcini di capriolo (“bites” of roebuck), which she said were tender enough to melt in your mouth. I had breast of wild duck in a balsamic vinegar reduction – I love duck, and this was even more flavorful than usual. Umm… don’t remember what Enrico and Pancrazio had, except that they both managed to squeeze in dessert afterwards!

Then we headed off to the object of our visit, the winery.

Part 1: Lunch

Part 2: The Palazzo

Part 3: Wine!

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