Being the daughter of a wine merchant, I think my interest and love of vino was always bound to happen. So I couldn’t possibly leave Italy without indulging myself in a proper wine tasting.
Ed and I stole a day to visit Tenuta Il Bosco in the Oltrepò Pavese region. The property was purchased in 1987 by the Zonin family whilst there were only 30 hectares of vines. Today, the vineyard boasts 152 hectares under the family’s ownership.
On arrival, we were introduced to Piernicola Olmo, on of Tenuta Il Bosco’s wine makers, and he took us for a drive around the vineyard, pointing out each of the different grape varieties, from Chardonnay to Pinot Noir, and telling us stories of how they’ve grown. We were treated to a private tour of the wine cellars where we learnt of the Champagne (of course they’re not actually allowed to call it Champagne, so it has the less sexy moniker of ‘metodo classico’, but is made in exactly the same way) that’s been fermenting since 2012, the prosecco which is being so carefully pressurised and the general day-to-day process of the winery.
Once Piernicola had taught us everything there was to know about what goes on behind the scenes, it was time to try some wine. In true Italian style (and much to our delight) the table was adorned with the finest cuts of salami and prosciutto, fresh baguettes, aged Parmasan cheese and plenty of glasses ready for tasting. Favourites included the Bonarda, which is a ‘frizzante’ red wine, meaning it has a bubbly, effervescent finish – a style I have, unfortunately, never ever found in Dubai. We were also lapping up the 2012 Oltrenero Brut – well, how could you not when it’s 100% pinot noir!?
For for information on the winery visit www.ilbosco.com