VIP Wine Tours, Cooking Classes, Meals at the Farmhouse...


Lawrence d’Almeida was raised in Paris and trained as a Historian (Yale College and Harvard University). He decided instead to dedicate his professional life to wine and in 1996 spent a year in the US as a wine retailer learning about the wine trade. The following year, he moved with his family to the center of the Chianti Classico region in Tuscany, and apprenticed as a winemaker at the Tenuta Villa Arceno, a large winery owned by Kendall-Jackson. In May 1998 he became winemaker-manager at Villa Casale, a small old property near Greve-in-Chianti which had decided to join the ranks of quality Chianti Classico wineries, a position he retained until the property was sold in 2006. Since then, he has been winemaking consultant on various projects, and is currently the wine buyer for the luxury cruise line company Silversea Cruises. Lawrence regularly takes time off to arrange wine tastings and give private wine lectures both in the region and farther afield. He seeks to share his passions for wine and food, history and culture with interested travelers by leading individuals or small groups through the cultural and culinary riches of Tuscany (and other Italian regions) and conduct wine tastings

A full-day Wine Tour with Lawrence is customized to the wishes of the client, but usually includes the following:


  • On-site explanation of how wine is actually made, from the vineyard to the bottle
  • Morning visit and tasting at two top-quality Chianti Classico wineries
  • Lunch at a delicious local trattoria, al fresco weather permitting
  • Drive around the Chianti hills and visit of Chianti hill-towns
  • Visit of the town of Greve-in-Chianti (time permitting)(the winery visits and tastings can also be split between morning and afternoon)


  • On-site explanation of how wine is actually made, from the vineyard to the bottle
  • Morning visit and tasting at two top-quality Brunello di Montlacino wineries
  • Lunch at a delicious local trattoria, al fresco weather permitting
  • Visit of the town of Greve-in-Chianti (time permitting)

*Transportation with hired van and driver is optional but recommended.

  1. Lawrence’s fee for the tour is 350 euros; transportation fees (hired car or van with driver) depend on the number of people and the destination of the tour (Montalcino is a good hour’s drive away); anywhere between 250 (two people in Chianti) and 500 euros (large van to Montalcino).
  2. Parties of 2-3 people can be driven by Lawrence for a small extra fee. Tours with guests driving their own cars is also feasible.
  3. All fees are payable in cash on the day of the tour.
  4. Lunch and tasting fees where they apply (always modest) are not included.
  5. Lawrence’s tours are exclusive and can be customized. Please contact Lawrence ( if you are interested in booking a tour or have any questions.

Feel free to contact Lawrence with any with any questions regarding local activities, VIP wine tours, in-home meals, cooking classes…
PHONE: 011+39 348 603 5979


Stefania Balducci

Chef for cooking classes

Cata figsStefania Balducci was born and raised in the hill town of Assisi in central Italy. Her passion for cooking is rooted in the Italian tradition of cooking together with family in the home. She has fond memories of helping her mother and grandmothers in the kitchen, learning their simple techniques for preparing fine and tasty meals. After finishing her study of philosophy, she decided that the best way to share her passion for Cucina Rustica was through cooking classes and catering. She is now based in Tuscany and travels part of the year teaching her Cucina Rustica.

She looks forward to sharing her traditional Tuscan and Umbrian recipes with you—as well as her vegetarian specialties—while you’re visiting Italy or in your home! Feel free to visit here website and book at If you book a Cooking Class with Stefania please let her know you are staying at La Malpensatina.

Catalina Santander

CatapreseChef for cooking classes and in-house dinners

Catalina Santander, who has lived with her family in a typical Tuscan farmhouse for a generation, has been organizing some of the best winemaking dinners in Chianti for 20 years. All of her cooking is based on old Tuscan recipes. Passionate about the traditions and history behind the recipes, Catalina uses only local and seasonal produce. Catalina also believes that pairing the right wines with the different courses makes culinary experiences complete.

PDF-smallView a few sample mean menus here – PDF