Wine Tour Frascati.
Before coming to Italy, I had read a book titled, History of the World in Six Glasses. The main point of this book was to convince the reader of how the major drinks throughout the world, i.e., wine, beer, tea, coffee, distilled spirits, and Coca-Cola helped pioneer and shape the world socially, historically and economically. Being able to take tours of some of the wineries while in Italy has given me a more personal connection to this specific industry and art. Specifically, the wine tour of the Frascati region was an experience of a lifetime and really resonated with me.
Discovering their “irrigation techniques” as 'dry' was shocking! The terms “irrigation” and “dry” are not what you expect when it comes to watering a crop. For me, growing up in a family where my father’s career is based on irrigation and water conservation and commonly talks about such practices, I am relatively well versed in this subject and the different techniques or irrigation; however, I had never heard or talked about “dry irrigation”. It is quite rare to hear that an agricultural zone does not irrigate at all especially in an area where access to irrigation-water is readily available. However, after learning the effects of water stress on the sugar content of the grape and how it influences the quality of the wine, I know understand the practice of dry irrigation. To concentrate the flavors in the sugars of the grapes it results in a more full-bodied flavor and luxurious wine. The quality of the grape is the important factor.
Another bit of knowledge I gained from these outing deals with grafting of grape vines. All varieties must be grafted in order to survive and be cultivated. It is important that the root system is strong enough to handle varying levels of soil pH, disease, and pests. The rootstock is the hidden half of the grape plant and the selection of the proper root is essential for the production of grapes in orchards that will be in production for many years.
Learning about the wine-making process, i.e., oenology, and the amount of labor that goes into making this drink has been absolutely fascinating and was an experience of a lifetime that I will never forget. In the future any time that I enjoy a glass of wine, it will bring back the memories of this visit and of Italy!