Thursday, February 2, 2012

Report from ... Verona Italy - Day 5: Even More Winery Tours - Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I've never been one for museums ... sorry ma ... yes my mother has taken me to a few in my day, usually to see some art exhibits and such that she could not drag my dad to ... but I have to admit, very little interests me in those surroundings.  I walk thru them quickly looking at this and that, stopping at the few things that catch my eye, but for the most part museums aren't my bag.  My wife would think that kinda surprising I'm sure, she teases me about being a little effeminate because of my love for wine and theater ... she also finds it odd I like Abba and am probably one of the few people in this world that doesn't think the Johnny Hates Jazz album doesn't suck - but that's another story.  Today's tour of the Veneto region took us east, to the Soave region.  We first started out at the Museo di Bolca ... a fossil museum ... now this was a funny excursion that was riddled with all kinds of fumbles: the museum didn't know we were coming, they had to turn the heat on, and nobody could guide us through; I self-toured with a couple of other writers then went for a coffee up the hill at a bar and waited for the others to finish.  It was then off to Cantina di Soave - a co-op winery, a castle stop and a small yet intriguing winery called Massimago (owned by a 27 year young woman with a dream) ... along the way we stumbled onto the most interesting place.  Let's take a look ...

Arrival at the museum ...
The mural at the front entrance ...
Description of its importance ...
And a map, so you too can find it and see ...
fossils ...
more fossils ...
Big fossils
and little fossils
see fossils of eels and fish (and pictures of them too)
Hey, now this is interesting, check out the lizard fossil on the ground
and tanks of real live fish
When we left the building these two dogs were battling it out on the street - they paused long enough for a picture.
The big barrel room - we've seen lots of these this trip
and little barrels too
This was rather interesting ... a fountain in the barrel room, see reflection at the wall ... pretty impressive
Blurry barrels as far as the eyes can see ... they were more in focus when I saw them
At this location, called Borgo Rocca Sveva, one of 6 for the company, they make their high end selection of wines, like this Soave Superiore called "Castelcerino" ... a lovely wine with buttery notes from the lees contact and a creamy mouthfeel (*** 1/2+)
They pulled out their 2001 Amarone for us to try ... at our request ... it was still young and fresh with chocolate, plum and black cherry notes ... lovely (****+)
There were two wonderful wines ... so I had a glass of each with lunch - no Risotto a la Amarone here (thank goodness)
My first ever (as far as I can recall) Recioto di Soave ... a wine that was traditionally used as a medicine (like vitamins), that's why they served it in a small glass - a little dab'll do ya.  Sweet peach with spice ... very nice. (*** 1/2+)
Arrival at Castella Scaligero
View of the walls and town below
Gratuitous animal shot #4 - bunnies guard the castle
That is one hideous house in the middle of town - can you spot it ... enlarge the picture if you must
Walking the cobbled stones inside the walls ... at the end of our walk we found something amazing
Pieropan - one of Soave's best producers ... right in the middle of this small town ... we all agreed to go in, leaving our guides outside
The grapes for La Rocca are grown in limestone soil ... 100% Garganega
Grapes for Calvarino are grown in volcanic soil ... a blend of Garganega (70%) and Trebbiano (30%)
Together they make up the one-two punch of Pieropan's vineyard specific Soave.  Calvarino has earthy, peach pit and lemon rind aromas (and flavours) - (****) ... La Rocca is exotic, minerally with great acidity and stoniness on the finish (****+)
A new venture to make red wines: Ruberpan 2008 Valpolicella Superiore ... sour cherry, floral, black cherry, cassis and mineral aromas - almost Pinot-esque ... the palate was lively with acidity and mineral notes, good tannin structure and loads of sour cherry. (****+)
The fives wines we tried with their soil / rock make up ... Notice the Recioto (my second of the day: when it rains it pours) - a sexy, seductive wine that tickled and tempted both the nose and taste buds ... a true delight (****+)
Owner, Teresita we thank you for the wonderful, informative, enlightening and delightful tasting, I doubt any of us will forget.  Truly off the cuff, spur of the moment hospitality.
The ever interesting MassiMago
Gratuitous Animal Shot #5 - at MassiMago
Owner, Camilla Rossi Chauvenet (27) addresses the group (black puffy coat)
Tiny barrel room under the house
The vines climb the surrounding hills
Valpolicella Superiore 2008 - lifted cherry, sweet spices on the nose, good acidity, black cherry, clove and pepper on the palate with a nice spiced finish (****)
2007 Amarone ... cherries, plums and chocolate, floral and herbs greet the nose; while lifted red fruit, elegant spice and a touch of wood cut across the palate - will mellow with age; lovely finish of cherry-spiced-cocoa and a sonderful cherry linger. (****+)
Bottle in the Alcove at MassiMago ... lasting impression of the Veneto region: wonderful wines with great people behind them.

Time to head home ... thanks for being part of this journey with me.  A special thanks to Michele Shah who had the foresight to have me on this wonderful trip.  My fellow writers whom I shared a wonderful time with.  And a very special thanks to my wife who held down the fort at home and put up with some very  poor connection Skype calls.

1 comment:

Echos Du Vin said...

Happy you appreciated our winery Borgo Rocca Sveva and its wines... and hope to see you again a next time!