Post by Lauren
Our second day, we took a trip down to the Emilia Romagna region of Italy which is famous for parmesan, grana podano, parma ham, balsamic vinegars, olive oil, copa and of course, wine.
Our leader, Kay, is friends with the owner of La Stoppa, Elena Pantaleoni, and so we shared a beautiful autumn afternoon with her at her family vineyards near Rivergaro.
Elena runs a completely organic operation, and we learned about the hard work required for this designation, but how very important it is for the preservation of the land. Gabe and I are both California wine lovers so it was interesting to hear the New World vs. Old World philosophies in wine. My biggest learning from both Elena and Alberto the evening before was how the Old World / European believes more in the terroir, and the wine is a result of the land, where New World believes the result is in the creativity of the winemaker, in the cellar.
Next, we tasted their different varietals. We started out with six on the table for tasting, but realizing how into their wines we were, they started making cellar trips to give us different vintages of our favorites and their new creations straight from the barrel.
The line-up of the wines was as follows :
-Dinavolino, Guilio, the wine maker’s creation from his estate
-Macchiona – 2005, then 2006, then 2007, then the 2002 which was a notoriously rough year
-Barbera del Stoppa
-Ageno – 2007, then the 2010 out of the tank
We tasted the wines alongside local meats like copa (the neck of the pig), salami and grana podano cheese. I enjoyed the flavors of the wine alongside the regional specialities of Emilia Romagna. The whites really were accentuated with the food.
In the end, I bought a Barbera and a Macchiona 2005. Unfortunately, I was limited to 3 to take back so only the Barbera will make it back to Geneva in the end as the Macchiona was the group favorite so was opened for sharing in Firenze.
It was a delight to spend this day with the wonderful people of La Stoppa. While I love learning about wine from all over the world, this special passion and pride is special to any other experience I have had in the States visiting vineyards. We felt like we were their family that day and are so grateful to Elena, Guilio and Francesca for their hospitality and inviting us into their estate. What an amazing place.