Embarking upon grape harvest season is an opportune time to expose the topic of wine.
Wine America, a trade association with membership based in the eastern United States, reports that Americain wineries welcome nearly 30 million visitors a year. Even while California produces 90 percent of U.S. wine, grape cultivation and production is expanding across the U.S..
An even more exciting idea – even better than following the routine path – is to trailblaze the planet to discover lesser-known jewels. Herein suggested for curious wine-loving travelers…on to Italia!
“The wine-cup is the little silver well,
Where truth, if truth there be, doth dwell.”
Love for the land.
The Fontechiara winery follows a traditional ‘natural’ (including following moon phases) approach to cultivation and vinification with indigenous varietal grapes. The results are wines that exalt in exposing the most pure qualities of their origins. The wines are vegan and naturally produced.
The family-owned and operated Fontechiara vineyards, farmhouse and cellar are surrounded by the vineyards and the green hills of Santa Cristina and Bogogno in the Colline Novaresi.
It is here where the family returns to its origins and cultivates the indigenous grapes Nebbiolo DOC and Vespolina DOC. Tour the cellar and open your imagination to visions of bygone times as your host recounts the evolution and details the magical transformation that transmutes the grapes to wine.
Fontechiara Azienda Vittivinicola Strada della Vallazza 10 | Cellar, oak barelle aged
The true treasure of the visit is to absorb the nostalgia of this family within the actual experience.
The decision of the family to return to the farm and revive the winemaking traditions exudes as love and is demonstrated in the impeccable attention to detail. While one may revel in the marketing and labeling, recall that wine is an agricultural product. As chefs overall would agree, the product must be the best to result in an outstanding dining experience. The carefully cultivated, mindfully harvested varietal grapes rest to age in French oak barrels to become high-quality wines. Now, prepare yourself for the sensory experience of sampling!
The tour and tasting is value-added.
Of the three wines, choose to sample two wines at 20€ or three wines at 25€. Imagine the scents of earth and foliage under the early fall sun in the Italian countryside. Enjoy the feeling of Italy in the reviews selected below.
“Beautiful place, familiar but very nice, excellent wines and platters, to try absolutely!!”
“Bellissimo posto, familiare ma molto curato, ottimi vini e taglieri, da provare assolutamente!!”
The servings are generous enough to enjoy an agreeable afternoon of several hours. The tastings include an abundant selection of local cured meats and cheeses and fruits especially selected to bring out the best flavors and characteristics of each wine. Il Nonno is the only blend of Nebiollo and Vespolina produced.
“When love is the passion for nature it turns into an excellent wine. Thanks!”
“Quando l’amore è la passione per la natura si trasforma in un eccellente vino. Grazie ai!”
The family’s decision to return to the land and the winemaking traditions of previous generations included overhauling the old farmstead, including the farmhouse, cellar and the vineyard sheds (casotti), as well as bringing back to life the natural spring. Then with the counsel of expert oenologists and experienced viticulturists, the vineyards were replanted.
Precision is embedded in every gesture. Pure love and respect for the planet, the family traditions, and indeed the products are inherent and are revealed in each sensation of texture and flavour of the wines and the accompanying delicacies served.
Friends linger with the flavour in the air, revel in the quality of the wines, admire and appreciate the impeccable attention to detail.
The delicious, locally produced delicacies and the cordial, candid presentations by Manuela the tour hostess makes the détent feel endless and enhances the harmonious experience of friends who share a genuinely exceptional afternoon.
It is well worth the journey to blaze the well-known wine road that twists and turns throughout this valley in eastern Piedmont.
An alternate route is an option which lures visitors to prolong their visits to explore this area further. When the approach to Fontechiara is from the direction Feriolo, where the E62 is fairly straight, the landscape offers refreshing views along Lake Maggiore. Lago Maggiore, or Lago Verbàno, is the second largest lake in Italy and the largest in southern Switzerland. The lake and its shoreline are divided between the Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy and the Swiss canton of Ticino.
No matter the route selected or how many additional stopover extensions this region coaxes, surely it is clear that Fontechiara is as the writer below describes. Also in Italian, fonte is source and chiara is clear.
“Genuine place, friendliness of the owners, good wine, excellent products, love and passion for their work.”
“Luogo genuino, cordialità dei proprietari, buon vino, ottimi prodotti, amore e passione per il proprio lavoro.”
From Feriolo, 28831 Province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, Italy:
As noted this road is less curvy and the drive along the lake is a lovely beginning to approach the Fontechiara Cantina. The area itself and Feriolo is known for many quality lodgings. One recommended is Il Feriolo Bed and Breakfast in Feriolo. Fontechiara also offers event/meeting space and services, as well as providing for accommodations. Visit www.fontechiara.eu for more information.