by The Winefathers
24/JUL/2016 in Projects
Michael comes from the United States and he chose Luca and Sara Carbone's project. What will he always bring in his heart?
Have a look at his story ...
I've always been a big believer in supporting Italian businesses and have had a tendency to buy Italian wines over producers from other countries. The Winefathers interested me because I liked the idea of helping smaller Italian winemakers, many of which have to deal with more challenges than larger producers. This is particularly the case in Italy where the entrepreneurial spirit can be crushed by regulations, bureaucracy and more.
I was drawn to the idea of helping Carbone Vini for two reasons. First, I liked their initiative with fruit trees in their vineyards. Second, with a trip planned to Puglia, Basilicata would be easy for us to visit.
Sara worked with us to arrange a time to meet up with her brother Luca (the winemaker) and then visit the family for lunch. We found a nice apartment in the centro storico of Melfi and had Luca meet us there. As the only person in the family who really speaks Italian (I was born in Bologna and while my wife and kids can understand some Italian), I was able to translate everything we learned with Luca. We first visited the oldest vines and where his parents first started making wine... a beautiful vineyard of Aglianico and Fiano grapes with Monte Vulture in the distance. What a pleasure to walk through the countryside, trying fresh figs (best I've ever had!), strawberries and mulberries.
We then went to Luca and Sara's parents house for a wonderful pranzo... it really felt like we were with family. Luca's father enjoyed entertaining our two boys by letting them play the piano, showing off a magic trick or two and in other ways to keep them entertained. His mother prepared a splendid lunch - orecchiette and fusilli with a hearty and delicious ragu', various meats, peppers and so much more... not to mention the semifreddo and crostata. All so good! We left the house with new friends and full stomachs.
Afterwards, we visited their newer vineyards and toured where the wines are bottled and labeled. Lots of fun for our boys, particularly as they helped plant an apricot tree and played with Luca's dog. Again, Monte Vulture loomed in the background... stunning and majestic!
Our time with Luca ended at the cantina in the centro. Amazing to see a cantina over 900 years old wonderfully preserved. All of it... every bit... from the vineyards to the family to the Luca's unbelievably generous hospitality... all of it was amazing! We spent 2 1/2 weeks in Italy but our days in Melfi with the Carbone family will stay with us forever.
Hopefully our next trip to Emilia Romagna to visit my hometown and our friends will include a stop to a new winecousin, as well.