Sunday, October 23, 2011

Wine tasting trip, part 1

23 October 2011

Our employer drove us to the Wine Valley of this region, in and around the city of Bento Gonçalves.  While Santa Cruz was populated largely by German immigrants, Bento Gonçalves was settled by Italian immigrants, who brought their viticultural expertise with them.  We visited three wineries, but I took so many photos that I have to break this up into three entries!

This one is for my mom: Look mom, a river!
We were going around a cloverleaf so I could barely snap this in time: ANOTHER city with a Fritz and Frida (or perhaps Karl and Karla)!
 The countryside as seen from the car.
 The first winery we stopped at was right in town, a really large commercial one called Aurora. We were just in time to catch the tour, which led us underground.  There were so many people on the tour, they just kept pouring down the stiars.
 The guide in her lovely and simple traditional costume, explaining the process.  I was envious of her costume, as it was quite cold in the cellar.
 "Roman" wall decoration above the entrance to a tunnel leading to another room.
 In the center of each tunnel was a miniature shrine to a saint set in the wall - I suppose to aid you if you are crushed alive in a rockfall.
 These vats were at least 4m tall and there were rows and rows of them.  In this photo you can see how low the ceiling of the tunnels connecting the rooms were.
 Hmmmm... this one has a leak.
 Close-up of the saint in the second tunnel.
 And her shrine.
 A little museum display made out of a giant wine cask.
 A gold statue... of a Roman god...
HEY!!! He's touching himself!
 A rack of dusty bottles.
 This well lit and decorated hallway led right through another huge area of giant casks, there were long rows of them off to the left in total darkness.  I guess they rely on people following the light to keep them on the tour route.
 The high end stuff.

 Wine in the fountain!
 The gift shop across the street had these girls all dressed up and ready to go.  (The souvenir item for sale was the little aprons.)

To be continued...

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