Cantine Aperte, Bicchieri Pieni
May 27, 2013 § Leave a comment
Heaven descended onto Marche this weekend.
In the form of cantine aperte, or “open vineyards”. One of my favorite aspects of the Le Marche region is the plethora of delicious wines produced by all of the different grapes of the many, many different hilltops. In order to raise awareness and exposure of the Marche wine industry, over 70 vineyards opened up their doors this past weekend. For $5, you buy an official Movimento Turismo Vino wine glass, a handy little lanyard in which you can put the glass in as you stumble around, and you’re set. You can go to any participating vineyard and enjoy all of the different samples of all of the wines. There’s a lot of vineyards, and there’s a lot of different wines types, and all of the wine “sample pours” are very generous amounts. And there’s complimentary snacks and live music and other games, depending on the vineyard.
So, feeling as excited as one could possibly be, I sat down for breakfast with a map of the region and mapped out a route of vineyards and scenic drives that I would like to make that day. I didn’t really care as long as there was a lot of wine involved. In my head, Italian and I would hit a dozen different vineyards.
Instead, we got to the first one a little bit before 11 AM and didn’t leave until 8 PM.
We passed by Accadia a couple of years ago, while driving back home from a little village in the middle of the countryside. It was a random detour, and we just wanted to give the territory a glance. No one was at home, so we called the number posted on the door. The man that owned the house responded with “Ciao! I’m at the beach, I can make it back in an hour or so, if you want to wait!” We didn’t want to disturb, so we left… and, finally, we made it back there.
In short, this is pretty much the coolest vineyard in the world- if not one of the coolest places in general. It is a house of artists; a community of colorful intellectuals that love wine and art. There are instillation pieces all over the property, art stations set up on tables in corners, authentic sculptures from Mario Boldrini next to the large urns, a gallery of paintings next to all of the bottles of wine (every type of wine has its own label designed by one of the artists, including a really remarkable guy who paints what-seems-to-be-flat-boring-paintings-until-you-view-them-with-a-negative-filter-and-then-they’re-full-blown-amazing-pictures), and a great vibe.
Met some amazing people, was invited to stay for lunch (which included the biggest pan of pasta I have seen in my life, special bottles of older vintages from their personal cellars, and delicious apple pies), and made a few contacts with people in the city that I will be living and working in come autumn. How perfect is sharing fermented grapes and paint splatters with others? While the sky above shifts from cold and dreary to the clearest sunset possible?
( The day also included the best toast that I have ever clinked glasses to- “to complexity.” In art, love, life. )
( And learned that “we are partly made out of wine and partly made out of flesh. When we find the proper equilibrium between the two, we are human.” )
I haven’t felt this stimulated by others in a long time. Can’t wait to play again with these characters!