Sunday, April 21, 2013

My First Wine Tour, Ever!

I took my first wine tour this weekend and really enjoyed the opportunity to see the wine production process up close. We visited a few places but only one winery provided a tour.  The first winery was filling 'jugs' of wine like we fill cars with petrol.   I have never seen this before but it seems to be typical in Italy.  Something we should consider adopting in the US.
Five liters  of wine cost 5.50 euro or around $7.  That is amazingly affordable, especially when you consider the quality of most of these jugs of wine is better than anything you can find at Safeway!
 Moving on, our tour was at a winery along the Adriatic Sea called Tormaresca, south of Brindisi.
 This winery had a few vineyards around Italy, but locally they had 5 hectare of land.  Being a non-farmer I had no idea what that meant, but it turns out that 5 hectare is about 2 square miles.
 The vineyard boss was in the SUV in front of our car, along our drive through the farm the boss stopped for a few minutes to talk to the workers. We passed them during what I think was their break time.
 Back at the main office you can see how grapes become wine.  Making wine is similar to making beer or sake.  It starts by fermentation and ends with bottling.
 This is the cellar.  Each barrel is 50 gallons of wine, this room, about the size of a basketball court, was filled to the ceiling!
 The smell of this room was amazing, a mix of fruit, oak and fermentation.
 Our tour guide was great, she toured us through the winery before explaining how each wine they made was great.  And she was right, each wine we tried was better than the previous wine.  She started with a 7 euro bottle of wine and ended with a 20 euro bottle of tine.
 I learned that during a wine tasting tour, you take a sip of wine and than pour the remaining wine in the black bucket on the table.  This blew my mind!  Kind of like, okay, please enjoy the best sip of wine you ever had and dump the rest out.  This did not seem logical or ECO to me.
 We were not crazy though, we 'revisited' most of the bottles.
 After tasting you have the opportunity to visit the show room.  You can purchase what you just tasted and other wines too.
 Because I don't have an apartment yet, I limited my buy to just these two small bottles.  I also got that purple book, it's a wine-map of Italy.
 Others on the tour got many more bottles than me.
 After the tour we had a great lunch in Grottalie, good food and of course more wine!
Most winery's in Italy provide tours, I hope to visit more shops.