MEMBERS OF the Algarve Wine Society have just returned from a visit to the Veneto and Friuli wine producing areas of northeastern Italy.
The group assembled in the garden of the Hotel Flora in Venice on Sunday evening for a welcome glass, or three, of Prosecco, before heading off to enjoy the annual Venice regatta.
The Algarve crowd then joined the throngs attending the bi-annual Venice film festival going on at the same time. Dinner Sunday evening was at Remigio’s, one of Venice’s finest sea-food restaurants.
Monday the group departed Venice by coach, headed for two of the Veneto’s leading producers of red wine.
First was Castello di Roncade, where the Baron Bassetti and his wife proudly showed off their castle and grounds and presented their fine wines, including Villa Giustinian.
This was followed by a visit to Loredan & Gasparini, where the unique Venegazzú and Capo di Stato reds were sampled.
Tuesday morning brought a visit to Garbellotto, the Rolls Royce of barrel makers, where the group were personally shown around by Pieremillio Garbellotto, the eighth generation of coopers at this fascinating place.
A visit to Venica e Venica in the Collio DOC followed, where the group was particularly impressed by the winery’s Pinot Bianco.
The afternoon was devoted to sightseeing, first at the picturesque Castello Miramar overlooking Trieste, built in 1860 by Archduke Maximillian of Austria for his wife Charlotte, and then into Trieste itself, where the day was rounded off by a scrumptious seafood dinner at Ai Fiori.
The Gala farewell dinner brought a fitting end to a gastronomic tour of dining and drinking in one of the lesser known, but truly excellent, regions of Europe, and the Algarve Wine Society members left Friuli for Venice on Saturday morning with the happiest of memories.
The Algarve Wine Society’s next activities will include a tasting of a number of single varietal Trincadeiras on October 11, a trip to the Estremoz area November 8-10, and the Association’s traditional Christmas lunch in mid-December.
Information about the Algarve Wine Society, or membership applications for the 2007 membership year, may be obtained from the Secretary, Larry Hampton, by e-mail [email protected] or by mail to Quinta da Mesquita, Cerro da Mesquita C.P. 310-A, 8150-025 São Brás de Alportel.