Today was an open wine tasting day for the Friulia Venezia Guilia region. What does this mean exactly? Local wineries were having all-you-can-taste tastings as well as offering additonal things, like special vendors, snacks, and tours. Oh, and archery. Because wine and arrows mix so well. We’ll get to that in a minute.
First we went to the Luciano Bessich winery in Roveredo in Piano. We have driven by it a lot, it’s on the way to the flightline side of base when we go the “back” way, which saves us a whole 2 clicks I think. We’ve bought their wine at the Shoppette before, but hadn’t bothered to stop in at the winery. So we thought we’d check it out. They took us on a tour of the vineyard. Some of the vines are as old as 50 years old. There were others they just planted this year that will take about 5 years to be productive. They also grow corn, mainly for fuel purposes, in the past it has been for animal feed. And they have kiwi trees. Kiwi season is in the Fall, and you can get a Kilo of kiwi (not the cream of the crop, but definitely edible) for 1 Euro. Oh, and they had asparagus too, asparagus season ended yesterday. Then we came indoors and they showed us the different vats they use to ferment the wine. Then they filter the wine and bottle it. Bottling time is based on the moon believe it or not. If you want your wine frizzante (with bubbles), bottle it at the 1/4 moon. If you want it regular, bottle it on the full moon. If you want to age it, bottle it at the 3/4 moon. But whatever you do, do NOT bottle it on the new moon. According to the tour leader, your wine bottles will explode at some point in the future. He also said the average Italian drinks a half liter of wine a day. Two glasses at lunch and two at dinner.
After we were done there, we took off towards home and revisited the Rive winery. They had cheese dipped in honey to try and a roast pig with no bones. Not sure how they did that, but it sure was good! The kids were bored and getting whiney (hee hee), then they discovered that they could shoot bows and arrows. The owners of Rive don’t speak a whole lot of English, but the person they had doing the archery apparently is an Italian airline pilot and so speaks English and plenty of it! The boys had a blast trying to hit the target, and Doug had a try as well. They finally convinced me to shoot despite me feeling a little tipsy from all the wines I had tried. I didn’t do too badly, perhaps stone cold sober and with a little practice I could actually be pretty good! Or at least hit the broad side of a barn. My photographer (Brandon) needs a little practice with his photography though.
All in all, a day well spent though it would have been fun to find a few more wineries to visit. Who knows what other things we might get to see and do! Luckily for us, there is always next year!