Olive oil is just as important as wine here...
Trip Start Jan 08, 2013
29Trip End May 05, 2013
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When we finally arrived at Vignamaggio, we were on this really steep hill I felt like we all were going to fall down to the valley. We walked up the hill and finally saw the building that housed all of the operations of the vineyards. Even the building itself was a beautiful, but quaint, stone building. The man who would be our tour guide for the day began to tell us a little bit about the vineyard. Although many of us would view it as a business, he said instead it was a way of life. This is a huge difference from America, because I feel like a place like this would be changed to be more profitable and make the most money. This vineyard was so unique and beautiful because it was based on years and years of culture rather than a business model. He said that another big thing that they do is make olive oil. He said that in their culture the olive oil is just as important as the wine. This made me laugh a little, but I like that.
We walked through the rooms with the wooden barrels of wine. The contraption that they use to keep the barrels full and to control the amount of oxygen that the wine is exposed to are these weird looking green lanterns on top of the barrel. As long as the green things has visible wine in it, they know that it is not being over exposed to oxygen. As wine ages, it compressed and takes us less volume, so they have to refill the barrels if it is getting too low so that the win can continue to be controlled and aged properly. We then walked out to the garden in the back. It reminded me of the secret garden from that book. Perfect place to get married actually, and a lot of people have done it. I asked if there was a purpose for the garden or if it was just for beauty, and he responded by saying the culture is to keep everything simple. It is very different from a lot of things in America today, but they don't try to over develop or ruin the beauty in the vineyard.
Finally it was time for lunch, and once again we had an amazing meal. The olive oil was like none that I had ever tasted before. I'm not sure how to explain it really, but it just tasted so fresh and light. Then we tasted two kinds of wine. One was a dark fruity wine, and the other was more spicy. I definitely liked the first one much better. Some people didn't even touch the wine at all. Maybe they aren't totally keen on wine, but it is Italy and it is the best wine you can find! Then they brought out pumpkin pasta. I never would have thought to make this combination but it was delicious, of course. All of these carbs make me crave something sweet afterwards, but I think that's what the wine is for. Also, the guy said that Italians love their wine, but only with food. That's why you never see Italians drunk because they take their alcohol with plenty of delicious food.
Highlight of the day, there was this precious stray cat that was so cute. Anyways, the beauty of the vineyard could never be captured by words or picture, but I did my best.