I swear each day only gets better here in Arezzo. Besides a few days of rain, the weather has been beautiful and made the constant walking very enjoyable. I wish I could go home and walk everywhere like the people do here. It is so rejuvenating and refreshing and has triggered some great conversations among my fellow PCS members. One of my favorite parts about this trip is that I have been able to become friends with some people that I barely knew in college. Ross and I joke at how we lived on the same floor and would sometimes not even say hi. I wish I would have made a better effort to become friends with the other students in PCS because the ones on this trip are truly incredible. I do realize it is rather difficult to get to know 120 other kids while keeping up with school and other demands in college. However, this realization has only made me that much more grateful to be on this trip with these great people.
Today we worked on our service project all morning and then took a trip to a beautiful vineyard in Tuscany. It was a fun 25 minute walk filled with good conversations and story telling. When we arrived at the vineyard, the owner greeted us, placed our bags in his house, and took us down a path leading to the vineyard. Turning the corner, we then saw the most beautiful, bright green, never-ending vineyard. It was massive and it’s green color popped against the baby blue sky. The owner has been in the business for over 13 years and is very proud of his accomplishments. He really enjoys his job and knows how to properly care for the plants to get the most use out of them.
After walking along the vineyard and admiring it’s beauty, he took us to the cellar where the wine barrels are kept. He explained to us the wine making process and that after a certain amount of time the wine from a barrel must be transferred to another to prevent it from seeping into the wood.
Then came the moment we all had been waiting for. It was time to try the wine. I have not had the best experience with wine and have failed thus far at acquiring a taste for it. Most of the time, I take a sip, cringe, and swallow it. Therefore, my expectations were not very high but I remained excited to give wine another chance.
The first wine he presented to us was Chianti D.O.C.G. Bernardino and was at least eight months old. Honestly, it was not as bad as some other wine I have had. Since I do not particularly find the flavor of wine pleasing, I did not love it but it didn’t make me cringe.
The second wine Vino I.G.T. Rosso Toscano Occhini and was at least eighteen months old. This wine was a bit more expensive than the first one due to the fact that it has been fermented longer and had additional spices. However, I did not really enjoy it but I did enjoy learning about it, how it was made, and why they created it that way.
The final wine was Vino I.G.T. Merlot Lastricia and was almost two years old. This was my least favorite wine because it had the highest alcohol content and was very bitter. Even though acquiring the taste for wine is taking longer than hoped, I will not give up. I want to be able to drink it when I am older during fancy dinners without cringing and forcing it down every time.
After today, my interest in learning and understanding Italian culture and traditions has increased. I find it fascinating and am going to continue to ask questions from those around me, like Professor Ducleux and Dean Grillot, that are willing to share their knowledge.