Thursday, November 13, 2008
13 Novembre, 2008
15 students from 5 countries have joined us with their tutor at N. di Bacco this week and we have turned back the hands of time a bit and enjoyed part of their stage as if we were students again. Half hail from Italy with a handful from Japan, 2 from the USA, one from Turkey and a Brazilian. Alessandra, their tutor, is from Parma and has done an excellent job planning out their visit!
The afternoon they arrived, we all headed down the hill to harvest the last 2 olive trees which we had saved for them. It was a real hoot to see these guys from all parts of the earth up in the tree including one of the young ladies in 3 inch wedge high heals and I am talking about 12 feet up in the air!
We took the 50 kg of olives up to Borgo Miriam where Tiziano explained the working of his frantioio and then he treated us to a tasting of 4 olive oils, all pressed this year, but with two ringers-one from Spain (yuck) and worse was an oil with a defect called riscaldo from someone who had picked olives off the ground, moldy. There are over 350 different species of olives grown in Italy and only 2 in Spain. Most of the cheap olive oil you find in the supermarkets back home are of Spanish descent. It would be a fun trial to buy a good DOP oil from Italy which you can find at Jasper's in Kansas City or any good Italian gourmet shop elsewhere and put it up against the stuff you buy in 2 Liter bottles at Costco.
The students have visited Ascoli to here about sustainable biological farmer's markets and experience the historic bar, Meletti and the beauty of our provincial capitol. They have also visited Matellica, the capitol of the province to our north in the Marche and famous for the wine, verdicchio. It is also quite a charming city.
Yesterday, a visit to Oasi degli Angeli with proprietors Marco and Eleanora was highlighted by a wonderful lunch and the 2006 Kurni, a montepulciano wine unique in the world. We stayed behind and chatted with them about life, the universe and everything about grape growing, business, marketing etc.
Today after our modest little breakfast, Raffaele and I detoured to a biological grain mill in Montefiore del'Aso and stocked up on flour of various types like whole wheat, regular white, Kamut and Faro and then met up with the group as they toured the internationally known pasta factory of Spinosi in Campofilone. Marco, the son of Vincenzo showed us the pasta works, which is amazingly small, but efficient, making exceptional artisanal pastas. He then cooked a nice lunch at the beautiful family home featuring his wonderful egg pasta dressed up with a local prosciutto, lemon peal, olive oil and parmigiano cheese.
It will be sad to see them go back to Colorno tomorrow, but we are thinking of following them up to Senegalia to try out one of the best restaurants in the Marche with them.
Back to our vineyard, our neighbor has been plowing up our ground and spreading the biological fertilizer, but may not get our seeds planted before the rain hits tomorrow. That would be a shame, but we can't control the weather.
Bacco has been a big hit with almost all the students and he has enjoyed the attention! I gave him his own post above. He actually got "outplayed" by a 5 month old labrador and sought refuge in the Doblo'!
The pictures are of our visits to the frantoio, Oasi degli Angeli and Spinosi.
Posted by Dwight at 7:14 PM