WINE TASTING AND DOMINOES...FINALLY
05.27.2015 - 05.27.2015
After breakfast in the kitchen out on the patio, the three Mercedes vans headed out to the small village of Atino, about an hour drive from CG. The Italian countryside in the areas we have traveled thus far are simply spectacular in their beauty. Everywhere we go the Appenines are in the background. There are endless olive groves and vineyards and small, ancient villages on tops of mountains where they were built to help protect against aggressors.
Today is wine tasting day, and we were led to Cantina Tullio, a small winery that produces about 35,000 bottles per year. At the foot of the vineyards, we were told about how this family owned winery went about producing the four wines that they bottle. Each of their wines is organically produced…no sulfites. There is a Chardonnay, a Rose and two Cabs, one that is aged in stainless steel tanks and the other in oak.
We were then given a tour of the wine making facility and the cellar where several oak casks and several stainless steel vats were marked with the vintage of the grapes therein. Next came the tasting and we sampled each of the four wines. To assist in clearing the palate, there was salame, cheese, fresh bread and focaccia laid out on a large table. We and the Brewers decided to purchase a case consisting of 6 bottles of Chardonnay and six bottles of the oak aged Cab. The Chardonnay was 6 euros per bottled, the Cab 9 euros. Sounds like a pretty good deal until you get to the shipping part, which is 130 euro…which are leader, Peter, pointed out is less than 20 euro per bottle.
After the wine tasting we were driven to the very top of the mountain in Atino to a restaurant, Le Canardizie (which means “delicious delicacies”), which occupied a building that was a winery in the 17 the century. The views were spectacular. We were led out to the patio where we were offered a glass of vino bianco, and then to a long table where we were first served with a host of antipasti including focaccia, bruschetta and others. This was followed by veal scallopine (there was a choice of lamb and chicken as well). Finally, a salad. Dessert was a peach crostata with whipped cream. If I ate every bit of food that has been placed in front of me this week, I would be 20 pounds heavier. I have managed to exercise as much restraint as possible under the circumstances.
The hour long drive back to CG was punctuated by somulent sounds throughout the back of our van.
Tonight was formal dinner night. We would be eating in the cellar which is a restored room that once served as an olive oil factory. Dinner would be by candle light. For the event, we first prepared salsicce (sausage) and peppers. This was followed by pork scallopine and apples. The scallopine we deep fried individually. Finally, we made a béchamel sauce for a vegetarian lasagna. We then went down to the cellar where the feast was served. Chef Diana and her staff had also prepared a ricotta cheesecake for dessert which was outstanding…like everything else.
We finished early enough for the Brewers and us to play a game of dominoes. Score SJB/SRC 1, the ladies 0.