Più vino si prega! (More wine please!)
When I first think of Italy, a few things come to mind– spaghetti, gelato, and wine– but specifically lots and lots of wine. Italy is one of the best-known wine places in the world. With this huge emphasis on wine, a beautiful emphasis on wineries exists as well. Hundreds of wineries dust the Tuscan countryside. Small- and large-scale vineyards throughout the country are run in numerous ways by widely different people.
La Fattoria Winery is located outside of the city of Arezzo. It was created in 1978 and is a completely organic operation. Not only do they produce wine, but they grow veggies and fruits in order to produce jams and sauces as well. They also raise sheep and make cheeses. In all of their processes, they aim to reduce their carbon foot print and only use methods that are safe and beneficial to the earth and humans. Their wine is stored in oak barrels with controlled temperatures. In efforts to lower amounts of sulfur in their wine, they do not filter it and only use a natural decanting process. The lees, or sediments that are left in the wine because it is unfiltered, act as a natural preservative. Other methods they use include old school fermentation, or using tera cotta pots to store the wine. The tera cotta pots are completely aromatic and do not allow any oxygen to enter the container, unlike steel containers that allow oxygen to enter. After some experimentation, they have discovered these pots are best used for white wines.
Throughout the trip, we have visited multiple wineries and coffee roasteries, enjoyed wine tastings, and experienced the culinary culture of Italy on our own time as well. In every aspect one thing is prevalent– there is a respect and appreciation for food and drink in this country. Like stated above, so many thoughts and processes are related to the wine making process. In other things as well, careful detail is used in creating food and drink. I appreciate the reverence for organic, raw materials producers use here. The American mind-set is to make as much as possible in the shortest amount of time, or quantity over quality. However, the Italian mind-set is to produce quality products despite the quantitative outcome. Thank you Italy for quality food!
The tera cotta pots used at La Fattoria to store white wine.
Large and small oak barrels used at the winery.
View from the winery (and a playground as well).