From sheer mountains we descended into Veneto, lush and bursting with spring, the land of Prosecco (among other). Our well-earned reward for the strenuous hike exceeded even the wildest imagination.
We were welcomed at Guisti winery and set up camp in a stunning apartment on their main estate, surrounded by vineyards and every imaginable comfort.
After giggling with delight and freshening up, we sat down to a tasting of 11 wines, ranging from refreshing prosecco to a positively heavenly Amarone della Valpolicella, which we subsequently finished off in the lamplight on our terrace, alone in the warm balmy air. We could stay here for a week! A month! Forever!
We’ve been praying to the gods of weather and they accommodated us yet again, by not releasing a single drop of rain all day, despite the clouds. After breakfast outside (the scene of indulgence the previous night)…
..we embarked on a tour of the estates owned by Giusti Wine, scattered all around the town of Nervesa della Battaglia. The battle in question is one of the final battles of World War I, which left its mark on almost every piece of land in the area, and some particularly remarkable ones on the estates. Vineyards interrupted by craters from aerial bombs… machine gun caches turned into cold cellars… trenches and ammunition and a Canadian soldier’s tags… all recovered and brought back to memory, integrated into the life of the wine.
Another estate is the site of an ancient abbey which dates back to the 11th Century and where the Galateo (book of good manners) was written. Our guide must have studied that book quite thoroughly. Unfortunately, the abbey was bombed as an act of spite three days after the war ended, and is now more of a ruin, but still shows some remains of frescoes and sculptures. The combined view of vines, olive trees, surrounding forest and the abbey is indeed a sight to behold.
And if all this weren’t enough, we also witnessed a peloton of cyclists whizzing through the village.
The only way I can describe the entire enterprise is “perfection” down to the very last detail. The houses on the vineyards are marvellous, some restored, some new, all featuring refurbished elements of the old combined with pure lines of modernity.
I wish to return, year after year, to see the progress of this exceptional project. Grazie Roberto, Sebastiano e tutti a Giusti!