Vinotherapy at Borgo San Felice, Italy

Oenophiles are usually lured to Tuscany to taste the wine, not bathe in it. Despite this, I found myself disrobing on an early September morning at Borgo San Felice's wellness centre and anticipating a rather unique treatment. Friday, 20 December 2013

By Stephanie Cavagnaro

Counteract the effects of late-night wine drinking by bathing in it.

Oenophiles are usually lured to Tuscany to taste the wine, not bathe in it. Despite this, I found myself disrobing on an early September morning at Borgo San Felice's wellness centre and anticipating a rather unique treatment.

Set in nearly 350 acres of Chianti Classico vineyards, this five-star Relais & Chateaux hilltop property was once a feudal hamlet. Much of its original architecture is in tact, including its spa, set in a picturesque ivy-laced building.

Feeling slightly fragile from ample vino the night before, I was sceptical about the benefits promised by this hangover-inducing product. Brushing off my hesitation, I flopped onto the bed and the therapist worked an exfoliating Dr Vranjes red grape scrub into my legs.

She immediately began reciting the product's benefits: the polyphenol antioxidants in grapes act as a powerful antidote against free radicals, ageing and stress, promote cellular regeneration, improve blood circulation and detoxify the skin.

Once I was covered in the scrub, my therapist applied a gentler, soothing mask to my face. After what seemed like ten minutes, I was instructed to plonk my purple body into a warm bath filled with chalky, red wine must. Specks of smooth grape peel clustered around my limbs and I was promptly brought a large glass of the hotel's Chianti.

Once I happily finished my morning glass of red, I emerged from the tub smelling like a winery. An olive oil massage completed the treatment and I left the wellness centre with smoother, more radiant skin and a whole new perspective on Tuscany's multi-purpose elixir.

Borgo San Felice, Localita San Felice, 53019 Castelnuovo Berardenga Siena, Italy. T: 00 39 0577 3964. www.borgosanfelice.it

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