Well, my family and I have returned from our visit to Venice, Italy. Putting aside the record-setting heat and humidity we had to endure while we were there, it can be summed up as awesome. The history, culture, architecture, beauty, food, and of course wine are things my family and I will remember and relish for the rest of our lives. We spent every day sightseeing and absorbing as much of the wonder that is Venice. The novelty of there not being one car to worry about when you were walking and taking in the sites is something that is quite refreshing. It is true that to get to anything in Venice, you either have to go via boat or let your feet do the walking. The open markets with their daily display of fresh fish and fruits and vegetables made me wish that I had a kitchen in my hotel room. To prepare dinner from such fresh ingredients, ones that we cannot readily find in the US, made me wish we had rented a villa for the week!
As most that are reading my blog have interest in wine, let me turn my reflection of Venice to that topic. I have to be honest. I unfortunately didn't have the time to go wine tasting at the many vineyards and wineries of the Veneto region. I wish I had a week just to do that. I spent quite a bit of time trying to find a local purveyor that would allow for wine tasting of the regional wines. Other than going out to dinner and having a glass of wine or stopping at the multitude of wine bars trying a glass of something else, wine tasting is not a common practice in Venice. I guess they figure a glass of wine is a taste. That's okay by me, but I wanted more. I wanted more of an immersion into the local winemaking. My sense was it wasn't going to happen during our relatively short visit.
You don't see this in America — demijohns of wine lined up for customer samples. Yes, please!
During one of our days of exploration, however, while we were in the open markets, just past the Rialto Bridge; my wife, always ahead of the pack, came back to me and said with excitement, “Do you want to taste some wines?” I'm sure you can guess my response. There, just at the base of the Rialto Bridge in Venice was a small “wine shop.” We went in and I felt like I was home. There in front of me was a series of demijohns of wine lined up for customers to taste! By pure luck, we found what I so desired to find. This shop was set up as a satellite sales location for a winery on the mainland located between Treviso and the Piave River; only about 20 minutes north-northwest of Venice. This is the Ruggero Lorenzon Vineyard and Winery. Luca, the young man who ran the shop, was very knowledgeable and extremely welcoming. He let us try all the wines....