It’s been nearly 2 months since I left my home in Colorado, and a lot has happened, a lot’s been learned.
In fact, so much has been going on, with so many (wine) fairs (there were three different ones yesterday, all within 45 minutes of each other), that I’ve either not had the time to write, or not had in internet connection (most places I visit are deep in the countryside, so phone service can be hit or miss, and internet speeds are predictably VERY slow, if such service can be found to begin with).
The plan I had (and posted about) has changed since I wrote it weeks before I even departed on this journey. I expected it to change (e.g. Sicilia will have to wait until the fall), and I’m at peace with how everything has unfolded. For example, I’ve attended all the big wine expositions I had planned (e.g. ViniVeri, Vinnatur, VinItaly, Taste Alto Piemonte, etc.), and I’ve made dozens of quality visits to vineyards/estates already.
That said, my trip thus far is like a glass, or bottle of wine, it’s got a life of its own, and it’s going to unfold the way it wants to unfold, no matter how I might want it to unfold. And that goes to the ‘at peace’ reference, because it’s both maddening and comforting that some (many!) things are totally out of our control. Instead of focusing on what I can or can not control, I’m merely focused on trying my best, staying focused, but not letting any setbacks/blackouts (i..e holidays and weekends) blur my mood or goal(s). Being patient, learning to roll with things in good times and bad, is something I’ve never been good at, but spending so much time with farmers/winegrowers, it’s rubbed off on me, and it’s made me a much better, much more relaxed person.
So, the next time you open a bottle of wine, and you want it to ‘perform’ for you, look not to what you want, but listen to what it has to say, make it the center of the conversation, not your needs/wants/expectations. Listen, there could be a story inside that you don’t want to miss.
Instead of making daily updates/posts, I think I’m going to (continue to) keep my head down and focus on the remaining month I’ve got here so that when I finally do get back home, I’ve got a lot of quality material to share. Coming up: one more stop in Chianti Classico, 3 more days in Montalcino, a visit to the Campi Flegrei region of Campania, 4 days in Avellino/Taurasi/Benevento, and a full day in Basilicata. After that portion of the trip, I’ll have a week filled with visits in Umbria and Liguria, then my final weeks will (again) be focused on Barolo, Barbaresco, Aosta and Valtellina. It’s going to be a very busy month.
(header photo: a traditional tort, served at last night’s dinner while visiting a winemaker’s home/farm in Roero)