A couple of days ago I read an article on Decanter
about the, according to them, the twelve wineries to visit in 2020.
Visiting a winery and talking to the people working there and making the wine adds so much to the experience, no importer or wine expert can make up for, and I always suggest during my tastings to visit a winery, it doesn’t really matter which one and where, visiting a winery changes completely the wine drinker perspective on wine in general, not just on a specific winery or wine.
Reading the Decanter list, I found big names, producers of award winning and very expensive wines. I may disagree with their actual value and we could debate whether their wines are worth their prices, certainly, the list features some of the top wineries in the world, not just Italy, but I believe that visiting a winery should not be like visiting a museum. Visiting the wineries listed by Decanter, but we could add plenty more, for me, it is like visiting a museum, seeing without being able to get my hands dirty.
Visiting a winery is also about standing in the wrong place, witnessing some sort of confusion, put your feet in the mud and, more than anything else, talking to the producer and winemaker, this is what really makes the experience unique, no listening to someone repeating the same lines, days in days out.
Producers know everything about their vineyards, their grapes, the oldest ones, the ones that produce the best grapes, the different soil in their vineyards, the differences and difficulties brought by the weather, more and more unreliable. Winemakers, on the other side, tell you the reasons behind each wine, why certain grapes are used and why from a specific vineyard instead of another, winemakers tell you of the failed experiments as well as the success, the challenges. This is, for me, the most interesting part, and each winery is different, because of the people and this is how our Wine tours
are organised, they are about the people as well as the equipment.
Whether a multi award winning or a small winery, producing wine follow the same process and uses the same equipment, great wines are made in the vineyards not in the cellar, so without the personal approach and philosophy, each winery will be the same, what makes the difference are the people, and precisely, the owner, the farmer, and the winemaker. Visiting the Ornellaia winery it may sound exciting, but it will be like a guided tour of a museum, you may taste a few of their wines, but a visit should be more than a taste, so make 2020 the year of visiting a small winery, far or close, here or abroad, it doesn’t matter, you can join one of our wine tours or go on your own, knock at the door of the first winery you encounter on your way and talk to the people working there, ask questions, visit the vineyards, just do it and wine will never be the same again.