Someone once said that wine is a mixture of art, geography, science, and history. Like one of those things and you’ll like wine. Like all of them and you’ll be gripped for life. I’ll not lie, the jury’s still out on geography, but the rest of them I’m all over like a cheap suit. So when we recently got a chance to do a bit of culture vulture’ing up in the stunning, rolling hills of Abruzzo, it was pretty immense.
King of the Castle
Rocca Calascio is a mountain top fortress that used to be used as a look out and beacon for the local militia in the ancient Barony of Carapelle. Originally built in the 10th century, extended in the 13th, and then destroyed by earthquake in the 15th century and never rebuilt. Sounds like it was straight out of a history text book doesn’t it?! Well that’s cos that bit was 😉
It is, of course a ruin now, but well worth visiting if you can stomach the churning bus ride to the top (and I mean the very top) of the mountains. It gives an incredible view of the landscape of Abruzzo and helps you understand the food and drink in this area of Italy. Huge rolling hills up to 1500 metres above sea level, with a sea wind that’ll knock you over if you turn a corner too quick.
Freshness in the Grapes
Ok, most of the grapes for wine are grown at much lower altitudes, but you can understand where the freshness, minerality, and acidity of a well made Pecorino or Trebbiano comes from just by standing there and sniffing the breeze. The view’s not too shabby either!