Sunday, September 26, 2010

Grape Stomping & Wine Tasting

We've had an action packed weekend enjoying the area, so I'll be posting three separate blogs with our activities. On Friday night, we joined a tour offered by the USO to a local winery for grape picking and wine tasting. Just the drive to the winery was an adventure. We left for what was supposed to be a 20 minute drive to a winery located on the side of Mount Vesuvius. After an hour, we reached the base of the mountain only to be stopped by the carabinieri (police) and turned around due to demonstrators on the mountain. We're not sure what they were demonstrating for or against and why on the mountain, but our amazing bus driver obligingly turned the bus around and headed through the back roads. The same narrow roads that we don't seem to manage in our Toyota without some scrapes and bruises, the bus driver took at light speed, whipping around corners, bullying other cars and people out of the way. He got a large round of applause when he pulled up to the winery! This winery does not sell their wine to any other stores or distributors, and they're only open on Saturday & Sunday to the public...except for special events and tours such as ours. Since we were very, very late, we were quickly led into the vineyard and given shears & crates to get to clipping. Pepe the Winemaker supervised.
After filling our three crates, which seemed to take way longer than it should have for a group of 20, we headed back to the area where the real magic happens. The owner talked a little about how wine is made today, BUT...talked about back in the day when wine was pressed the traditional way...stomping on grapes. He had the barrel ready for us. Nathan, along with most of the men in the group, elected not to do this, but I decided why not. We had a fun tour group, and I don't care how touristy it is. Up rolled the pants legs, and off with the shoes...thankfully, because I had somehow stepped in a humongous pile of dog doo somewhere in the vineyard.

Finally the wine tasting began. We had a lovely plate of antipasti, accompanied with small tastes of the 2009 white, rose, and red. Next up was some of the best spaghetti I've ever eaten with a 2007 red and the reserve 2004 red. All the wines were absolutely wonderful! We finished up with the winery's special dessert beverage...apricot grappa. One shot each. Yummy! Actually, that wasn't the finish. For the finale, Maurice pulled out the pitcher of grape juice that we'd created from our stomping. Everyone got a small taste set in front of them, but only a small taste because he said any more would give us an upset stomach. (I should note here, everyone had to wash their feet before getting into the wine barrel! But the grapes weren't washed, no filtering, nothing else - straight off the vine). Most of us in the group went ahead and tried it. It just tasted like really, really good grape juice, so I drank my juice plus that of the lone hold out at our table who refused to try it. That extra juice was a very bad idea. Very, very bad. Next time, I will heed the advice of the winery owner when giving instructions on drinking foot-stomped grape juice. I'm just going to leave it at that...


  1. Oh my gosh. I cannot imagine drinking juice that has been stomped on by ANYONE'S feet, including my own. That thought just sickens me in itself. But the mental picture, as well as the one posted, of you doing the stomping is just hilarious. It reminds me of the I Love Lucy episode where Lucy and Ethel are grape stomping.

    By the way, I don't know if you can edit your post or not, but you wrote "do to demonstrators" instead of "due to demonstrators." Since I know how excellent you are at grammar, and how offended you are when people don't use it correctly, I thought I'd tell you so you can fix it. :-)

  2. Oh dear...I'm becoming my mother......I noticed the "do to demonstrators" too. Lord, help me.

  3. I wish this was a facebook post so that I could "like" Brick's comment. :-) Anyway, I'm anxiously awaiting more blogs about the weekend.......

  4. Thanks for the grammar alert! All fixed now.