A Travellerspoint blog

Heading to Germany

Hi all,
We are heading on a new European adventure. We will be leaving for Germany and Austria in a little more than a week. Here is the new travel blog website so you can follow along.

https://matraciagermany.travellerspoint.com/

Amy & Teresa

Posted by Matraciaa 19:14 Comments (0)

It’s the last day

We began our day a little early because we had a winery tour scheduled. The owner of the hotel kept insisting in German that we stay and have breakfast. I was able to get him to understand that we had to leave but he insisted on giving us a bottle of rose as a parting gift. We chilled it later in the afternoon once we got to the hotel. The hotel would only give us ice in a bag so we used the garbage can to chill it. We are a resourceful pair.
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Our last winery tour was Ca’del Bosco. Market Wine regulars will recognize this as my first staff pick. They make a sparkling wine in the region of Franciacorta that bears the same name. Interesting fun fact, the wine is made in the same method as champagne so people assume the name is related to that. It really gets its name from the Latin term "franchae curtes“ which means exempted from paying duties. It seems in the 13th century farmers were moving away from the area because it didn’t grow good crops. The monks wanted to prevent that so they told farmers that if they stayed, they wouldn’t have to pay any taxes. Now that I’m done being a history nerd back to Ca’del Bosco. It’s a relatively new winery, founded in the 70s. They have have put a lot of money, innovation and effort into making great sparkling wines. It’s the reason I love them. The winery is state of the art and also has many great art pieces scattered around the winery.
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Of course, we ended with a tasting which was amazing.
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We asked them if they could make reservations somewhere for lunch and wow did they deliver. This restaurant was a hidden gem. We shared two very traditional Milanese dishes. Risotto with porcini and cotolette. Cotolette is a Milan version of Wiener schnitzel but the people of Milan say they invented it first. We don’t care who invented it, this was beyond superb.
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It’s off to the hotel, there was a restaurant at the hotel and the meal was surprisingly good. We started with our last Aperol Speritz, Teresa had a pasta dish and I had fish. We ending the night with a lovely Franciacorta from Ca’del Bosco.
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Our flight home is early tomorrow. We have traveled 1800 miles, stayed in 7 different cities, we went truffle hunting and visited 10 amazing wineries. We have ate some amazing food, drank some amazing wines, learned to love a bidet. Shared some awesome memories with some incredible friends. I’m glad y’all lived it with us vicariously. It truly was a trip of a life time. Ciao
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Posted by Matraciaa 18:06 Comments (0)

It’s our penultimate day in Italy

We are very sad, its our penultimate day in Italy. I love that word but Teresa always laughs at me because I pronounce it wrong. Oh well, what to do. I know, go visit another winery. This time the winery is Alois Lageder. The property has been growing grapes since 1666 but the Lageder family bought the property in 1855. They are on their sixth generation working in the winery. The have vineyards spread all over the Alto Adige but we got to walk through the ones next to the winery. They have already picked the Chardonnay grapes. It’s amazing how they fit the grape vines into the hillside.
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They added a state of the art facility about 15 years ago. At the time the solar panels could supply all the electricity but they have grown so much they supply two thirds of the energy.
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They were finishing up the fermentation of their merlot and were cleaning out the fermentation tank. It was fun to see them taking out all the skins.
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Also in the city is what they claim is the oldest grape vine. It is 600 years old and still grows grapes. Not wine grapes but table grapes.
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Tour over, it was time for a tasting. A really neat part of the tasting, they make a Pinot Grigio that is a blend of three different ways of making Pinot Grigio. One is a traditional way, one is with about 15 hours of skin contact and one is they put the whole grape cluster, stems and all into a big oak barrel. There is no pressing of the grape and they leave it for 6-8 months. The cool thing was, we were able to taste the finished product and all of its parts. It was very fascinating.
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This is Dea who gave us the tour and tasting. She was amazing.
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They have a great restaurant at the winery, the food was awesome. Teresa got ravioli and I got a lamb pita dish.
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We headed back to our hotel for some rest but before dinner we took a walk. There are lots of apple orchards in this area. I never realized that they grow apples trees like this but it makes sense for ease of harvest.
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Here are some pictures of the houses in the area. As I mentioned yesterday it’s very German looking.
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Another picture of this great mountain range. It’s dolomite(where the mountain ranges gets its name from) and feldspar(that’s the pinkish stuff)
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One of the few people at the hotel that spoke English is the guy making the pizza. We promised him tonight he could make us a pizza. He so wanted to make us something special so we let him. I told him I like spicy so the next thing I know he is pulling peppers of this plant.
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The pizzas were amazing. Mine had the peppers, spicy salami, red peppers and arugula. Teresa’s had speck(it’s a local cured ham) Gorgonzola, onions, potatoes and arugula. They were both very good. That’s Drago the pizza maker.
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So ends another day, one full day to go. Oh yes and another winery tour. A presto.

Posted by Matraciaa 18:42 Comments (0)

Goodbye Venice, hello Alto Adige

We caught the first water taxi out of Venice and heading up into the mountains. It is amazing how the style of houses immediately changed. This area was part of Austria until after World War I and you can definitely tell. The houses are different and the first language most people start with is German. We had a winery tour at Abbazia di Novecella and it was amazing. It is a working abbey with monks. The monks started making wine 800 years ago for themselves and travelers making a pilgrimage to Rome. It was about a 100 years ago that the monks started the company that makes wine to sell around the world. Werner, the sales manager, gave us a wonderful tour of the abbey and the winery.
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But wait there’s more, we got to taste almost everything they produce. They have mostly white wine, the reds they produce are lighter. They were all very good.
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It was time to head to the hotel which is called Unterinnerhoffen. Told you it was a very German area. The hotel was up in the hills, we came around a corner and saw this.
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Our room has a balcony that faces west so we watched the sunset while drinking a wonderful Kerner from abbazia di novecella.
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It was off to dinner, the hotel has a restaurant. I tried to order Wiener schnitzel but the waiter told me no that I should order the special because it was really good. At least that’s what I think he said because it was all in German. He was right, it was really good. I think it was prime rib with potatoes. It came with a salad that had one of the best potato salads I have ever had.
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Another winery tour tomorrow, imagine that.

Posted by Matraciaa 05:07 Comments (0)

All around Venice

We got up early to beat the crowds, it was a great idea. There was hardly anyone in San Marco Square. We also realized the way to not get lost in Venice, don’t have a destination. We just wandered around. We found a cute spot for a glass of Prosecco.
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Early is also the best time to catch a gondola ride. We just walked around a corner and there was one waiting. Easy peasy. I’m sure night time is cool for a gondola ride but we really enjoyed nerding out looking at the buildings. The way they built them on the lagoons is incredible.
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Lunch was at a great spot on the grand canal. We had fun watching all the boats.
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When the crowds got bad, we heading back to the hotel for a bottle of Prosecco on the roof terrace.
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Teresa found another gem for dinner. They really do fish perfectly here.
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Heading up into the mountains tomorrow. A presto.

Posted by Matraciaa 05:32 Comments (0)

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