The English wood: with rare plants and a special treasure hunt21 July, 2023
During Charon’s time – as many refer to the African anti-cyclone which is causing the intense heat this July – the word “wood” alone is enough to cause one to dream. But the wood surrounding the Castello di Brolio is not just any wood, it is the one which Baron Bettino Ricasoli commissioned in the middle of the 19th century. And he created it to reflect the sensitivity of the time which favoured making nature “win”, leading to randomness, the freedom to express itself, although this was obviously according to precise aesthetic and carefully thought-out choices. In this, Baron Bettino was supported by the expertise of his brother, Vincenzo, a distinguished botanist, and by the interest taken by friends who were passionate about this subject, with whom there were exchanges of rare plants. Thus, if the avenue of cypresses that leads to the Castello today is one of the most classic images of Tuscany, with the rows shaping the path, the impression is entirely different when crossing the wood on foot, where one can admire cedars of Lebanon, redwoods, Virginia junipers, gingkoes and other trees alongside other trees typical of our region. It almost seems an enchanted world.
But the English wood does not just appeal to the botanical enthusiast, we have also made it an ideal place for small children: for them, we have designed a “Brolio4Kids”, a 45-minute trail with guaranteed enjoyment. The climb will be child’s play – even for children! – with a hunt for stamps depicting both the animals living in our Brolio world, such as the nuthatch, the wild boar, the hedgehog, the red fox or the squirrel, and the plants it is known for everywhere – starting with vines and olives but not forgetting cypresses, pines, oaks. Just follow the “Stamp Hunt” along the “Pines” trail, indicated by red arrows shown on the map displayed at the beginning of the trail. There are eleven stages where you have your map stamped, one after the other, finally reaching the Castello ticket office which will deliver a surprise to the young explorers. Accompanying adults will also receive their reward, if only for the demanding climb: for them, there is a free tasting of one of our wines, professionally offered by the Enoteca Ricasoli.