My first barrel tasting was also my first wine tasting
Lucky me. Barrel tasting with Elio at his winery in Cinque Terre was an extraordinary experience and was the catapult that has led to so many wonderful experiences. My family was vacationing in the area and coincidentally Elio was there tending to his grapes. My dad managed to arrange a visit, a visit that turned out to be legendary.
The visit started with a trip in the vineyards. Have you ever been to Cinque Terre? Let me tell you, it’s steep and rough terrain, so how they do vineyard work is beyond me! There’s no way to bring a tractor down, so they have to do everything by hand. Yikes! And harvest time? Carrying all those baskets of grapes up and down that steep uneven hill? It’s only for a certain type of superhuman!
After the trip in the vineyard, he brought us to the cellar, where we proceeded to barrel taste! Keep in mind, I was only 18 at the time and this was my first wine experience whatsoever. The whole concept blew my mind and I marveled at the man standing before me. How could this (older) man have so much energy (and be in such good shape)? I had never met a person like him before and I was amazed at his passion and love for what was to me only grapes back then. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I started to love wine shortly after we met Elio.
If you ever have the chance to meet him (and his incredible daugther Silvia) take it! And I recommend traveling to Cinque Terre, if not for the wine then for the beautiful landscape!