Our goal when we travel is to not plan anything and just be where you are at when you are there. So we are wandering Verona’s little alleyways and see this little store front with people lined up to get in. Next thing we knew we were in line too! Just about to get the most incredible gelato on earth! Well I have to admit I haven’t experienced every gelato shop on earth, but I can’t imagine that it could get any better than this! OH MY…
If you are ever in Verona ask a local “Gelateria”? It is easier than saying where is Artigianale Ponte Pietra. There are quite a few Gelato shops in Verona, but the locals know where the best one is, not to mention ½ the price of the tourist gelato shops! See another reason to get off the tourist path!
Anyway, back to how the Winery Chateau came about. While standing in line we got to talking to an Italian woman who spoke pretty good English. She proceeds to tell us that we must go to her cousin’s winery. We explain that we are on foot and she says oh you can reach it by bus and that it will be such a wonderful trip and it is such a beautiful winery!
So why not, lets go to Sylvia’s Cousin’s Winery! We follow her directions and catch the Number 24 bus. She tells us to tell the driver to stop at Sylvia’s Cousin’s Winery, which we did. So we’re thinking that it is just a regular stop. WRONG… the bus stops and the driver opens the door and points to us and says Sylvia’s cugino Cantina. We exit the bus, it speeds away as all vehicles seem to do in Italy and we look around and are at the end of a dirt road with a sign that says The Vigento Cantina with an arrow pointing down the dirt road.
Now what… well there isn’t much else to do, so we follow the arrow and within about 30 minutes of walking the dirt road we discovered what we felt had to be the most wonderful little Winery/Vineyard in all of Italy! We were greeted by Sylvia’s cousin (believe it or not Max) who spoke excellent English. We walked the vineyard and sampled the sweet grapes of this little piece of heaven in the “Winery”. The Winery was not your typical grandiose structure, it was just an old barn that had been converted.
Two hours later we started to worry about catching the bus back. Max said “No worries” I’ll drive you back into town, you must stay for supper! We ended up dining with Max and his family including his grandmother and great uncle! We kept saying you don’t need to go to all this trouble. Max said this is no trouble, this is how we eat every day!
The Winery’s big barn doors were open overlooking the vineyards. We all sat at a big long table. It didn’t matter that Max was the only one in his family that spoke English, we just all somehow communicated with one another. There were no lights just candles that seemed to dance on the well worn wood that had been polished over the years. I swear it was like being on a movie set.
Driving back into town Max shared his dream that someday he was going to build a Chateau on the hill overlooking the vineyard. I said don’t you mean a Villa? He said no Grandma wants a Chateau like she saw in the South of France. She says Villas are for poor Italians…Chateaus are for rich Italians! I told him that he already had his very own Winery Chateau, that nothing could be better than what he had. What a wonderful strange experience it all was.
So with that…Max we dedicate the Winery Chateau to you and grandma and hope someday we’ll all meet again.
So ok… Max isn’t here and you aren’t in Italy, but Eureka Springs offers its very own Keels Creek Winery which is just 3 miles away. An intimate spot to do a little sampling and maybe even shop their wonderful Art Gallery.
So…buy that special bottle of the bubbly and return to your Winery Chateau and enjoy making your very own special memories!