Champagne is a region; prosecco, a grape and Italians do not want you to forget it!
Not a major tourist destination! No tour bus armadas dangerously hogging the roads! No plethora of microphoned, sunflower-toting tour guides leading glass-eyed lemmings! No hordes of pushy tourists making cobblestoned streets impassable! No gitchy shops hawking Chinese-made Italian (?) souvenirs and not a selfie-stick in sight! Okay, to all of my tour-loving friends, my rant about big bus tourism is over. This is merely my way of saying that I am in MY travel heaven.
It’s just Jim and I and an afternoon glass of chilled Prosecco, the vista of green-leafed vines rippling across steeply terraced vineyards and tumbling down to tiny ochre-coloured villages below, spaghetti thin twisting roads that defy logic and the heady scent of sun-warmed grapes dangling heavily from ancient gnarled vines. Pure heaven.
So scenically stunning are these hills, home to the renowned sparkling wine, Prosecco, and a wine-making school dating back to 1876, that the region has been nominated as. UNESCO World Heritage site.
We have arrived just as the area is mid-harvest - la vendemmia. The terraced fields are steep enough to make the use of farm machinery untenable. All local vineyards are harvested by hand in a time-honoured, labour-intensive tradition. At under fifty thousand acres and manually harvested, this is not a region of massive producers. Savour that glass of sparkling magic.
And so, after a quiet afternoon today, we are off on our Prosecco adventure of tastings at local vineyards, exploring the glorious countryside, tastings at local vineyards, eating local foods, tastings at local vineyards.....you get the picture. I may never come home.