Sunday, October 23, 2011

Wine tasting trip, part 2

23 October 2011

For the next part of our trip, we drove out to the countryside for a leisurely lunch in an Italian restaurant and a visit to a small, family-owned winery.

Views of the neighborhoods along the way.

We passed by this almost too quickly to photograph, but it was a castle-like brick structure and on the chimney is painted "MALT WHISKY".  Three guesses what they make there?
Here is the restaurant where we stopped for lunch, Casa Vanni.  It looks like an old barn, but the inside is charming.
On the street level is a cafe.  We had to walk around back to get to the restaurant on the lower level.
A very "old European" style weathervane.
Here is the interior of the restaurant.  The "window" is actually a mirror as I believe behind it is earth - the lower level is semi-basement as it's cut into the hillside. At left you can see the table we sat at - the brick cylinder is an old well.
The well was topped with a wagon wheel and a sheet of glass, and there was a light down inside it so we could see that there is still water in it.  The water looked clean and not dank.  Definitely the most interesting table in the place!

Photo: used with permission
After a lovely meal of pasta and fresh pressed grape juice, we headed just across the way to Cantina Strapazzon, a small family winery with a long history.

This picture is for mom - look, they have your roses! :)
In the background you can see the stone house which was the family's original residence built in the late 1800's.  It's now a designated historical landmark on the Caminho das Pedras.  In the foreground is a traditional haystack.  I saw several other farms in the area with similar haystacks, in one case the hay was being pitched even as we drove by.  Apparently this helps the hay to dry out as the weather is moist here.
Baby wine!
Because of its preservation and authenticity, the stone house on this property was chosen for the site of a film called "O Quadrilho" some years back, which gained the winery a lot of attention.
The owner, explaining the history.

A press.
A pumping mechanism used to move wine from one tun to another.
Stunning views out the windows.

Having tasted the wines in the stone house, we are heading back down toward the shop.
Our "school bus".
Side view of the barn.
Front view of the barn.
Detail on the barn doors.
Another old structure on the property that is under restoration.
The modern house, which the family lives in, and on the semi-basement level with the big open door is the shop where the wines are sold, along with local cheese, cured meats, and other products.  I highly recommend this winery's amaretto as the best I've tasted.
A cauldron being put to another use.
Another old outbuilding which must be the kitchen.  The baking oven looks like it may still be used by the family, as the paddle is leaning up against it looking new and clean.

I can't help myself, I must photograph plants!  These tiny little flowers in the lawn were even more brilliantly purple than in this photo.

No comments:

Post a Comment