On Monday I had the opportunity to visit a local winery for a preliminary interview with the owner. Luca, one of the translators for our program, drove Greg and myself to Il Conventino. Egidio Marcantoni, the owner, gave us a tour of the vineyard outside. He taught us how the soil needs to be broken up because if it is flat, it will crack from the heat and the heat will dry out the roots of the grape plants. He also showed us the olive trees that he has. When we purchased the land for his winery there was a patch of olive trees, and instead of getting rid of them he decided to also become a producer of olive oil.
Once back inside the building, he explained how the machinery for the olive oil process works. Likewise, he showed us the machinery for the wine making process. I never realized that white wine and red wine were made through slightly different processes so that was interesting to learn.
The amount of taste testings we did was incredible. Marcantoni has us sip cups of olive oil! Yes, he had us drink it!! There is a special way to do it though, you are supposed to pour the oil between your lip and bottom front teeth and suck the oil back swiftly so it aerates around your mouth. This enables the different parts of your tongue to taste the variety of flavors in the oil. Surprisingly, sipping straight oil was not as disgusting as I imagined. But it is not something I am willing to do on a regular basis.
They set up a private wine and oil tasting for us on the make floor of the building. We got to try two white wines, Il Famoso and Bolla Bianca, and one red wine. All the wines were spectacular (and I am not even a wine fan!). But the Bolla Bianca was my favorite! And I think it is the coolest because it is a white wine made from a red grape!
Along with the wine tasting, we tried four more types of olive oil poured on bread. It was very good, but I am so over oil right now. The thought of having oil on something hurts my stomach now since I ingested so much of it.
I am so lucky that I was able to go to this winery on Monday. Missing my Italian quiz was a plus as well.