Monday, July 14, 2014

Vineyard Hopping - Pompeii (Na) - Mastroberardino Winery

Nearly 4 years have passed since I parked my car in front of the gates to the ruins of Pompeii.  It was a warm October day during the harvest  and  I was there to witness the 10th harvest in Mastroberadino Winery's vineyards located inside the ruins of that historical city.  Back then I was just breaking into the wonderful world of wine blogging, so I took meticulous notes, soaked in on all of the technical information during our tour of the various sites located throughout the city.  I soaked in the colors of the season, the leaves, the grapes, the workers in their blue uniforms picking Piedirosso of the vines.  I wrote about it here in October of 2010.

This visit was just as breathtaking for several reasons.  With a few more years of vineyard experience under my belt, I was able to appreciate the hard work, risks, and satisfaction that the winery has gone through since they began this journey back in 1996.  I was able to note the differences in how the grapes reacted in various sites throughout the ancient city. How Aglianico reacts to the alberello or free standing training system,.  I spent more time alone through the rows of vines, often leaving my small group which included a wine and food blogger for Sweden who was visiting this site for the first time.  From a distance, I could hear agronomist Antonio Dente explain the various phases of the project, the grapes, the history of the vineyards, and pointing out vines such as Aglianico grapes that had been grafted onto Piedirosso vines back in 2007.  I was surprised at how much I remembered from my trip a few years back.

The devotion to maintain the spirit of the project in conjunction with the archaeological superintendent of Italy while at the same time, produce a quality wine is impressive.  This project  would make the entire ancient city come back to life showing international tourists how life was like back before that fateful night back in 79 AD.

And since our group was international, we decided to leave the vineyards and join the tourists who came to visit Pompeii that hot Monday afternoon.  It was hard not to get caught up in the spirit and excitement of the small groups being led around the city, stopping to fill up their bottles of water, looking for a bit of shade under the sun, the oohs, the wows, the aahs...


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