Whitehill Scrapbook 2010
Orvieto - April 8
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        Pulling into the town of Orvieto is an experience. As you travel the highway between Florence and Rome you see a lot of towns that seem to be carved into the side of the rock. Orvieto is one of these incredible places. The vineyard we stopped at was across the valley from the town and the views were spectacular.

     We stopped for a visit at the vineyard Tenuta Le Velette. It was really a pleasure to walk around an Italian estate, it was one of those stop and smell the roses moments.

     On our trip we enjoyed a lot of really good wines, thanks to Jamie our fearless leader. The wine at Tenuta Le Velette is excellent.  Unfortunately for us, we live in Pennsylvania and they don't ship to our state.

     The experience did open us up to enjoying wine more. We learned enough good tips on the trip to look for a couple of attributes that appeal to us. We've also been more willing to try new wines.

      The best desciption we've come up with for the food and wine of Italy is: subtle. Nothing is too extreme and the idea of blending the tastes seems to be a higher priority than is in American cooking.  For example Tenuta Le Velette had a sweet wine made from a blend of grapes and it was sweet without being too rich. We haven't been able to find another sweet wine that subtle.
    The most unique thing about the vineyard is the 2500 year old Etruscan wine cellar underneath it. They had found pieces of pottery and other artifacts which were on display around the house. In the picture above is an Etruscan tomb marker. There would have been a type of mausoleum with the above pieces on it. The smaller acorn shaped rock on the right marks a woman's tomb while the bigger one on the left marks a man's. This was probably a husband and wife.

Below Tim is standing in a portion of the wine cellar that was dug out by the Etruscans 2500 years ago. History geek moment.

It was interesting to see how they stored the wine and that basically the technique hasn't changed for thousands of years.
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