New for 2014 – Our Amazing Wine Tastings
Funny how certain aspects of running Villasfor2 tend to develop a life of their own.
Our first season in 2009 saw hardly anyone wanting internet access. In 2013, hardly anyone didn’t.
Same with wine tasting. Maybe once or twice each summer, guests have wanted to try local wines – especially if they’d driven here and were able to load-up the car to take their favourite bottles home. But it’s been very much a minority interest.
Until last year.
Suddenly, wine tastings became a holiday must-do. And good fun and greatly enjoyed they all were. Despite that however, we felt two factors were lacking: a suitably special setting for tastings; and a really good choice of tasting options from the basic right up to the deluxe.
So as soon as the 2013 season ended, we started searching in earnest for the ideal combination of setting and choice of wines – and we think you’re going to be as excited and delighted as we are with the result.
About half-an-hour away from us is the wonderful 17th century Castello di Semivicoli – home of the Masciarelli winery, rated among the top dozen producers in all Italy by the leading Gambero Rosso ‘Italian Wine’ guide.
Founded in 1978, the winery has a bitter-sweet history. Its guiding light, Gianni Masciarelli – a real pioneer in bringing Abruzzese wine to a worldwide audience – died tragically young in 2008. Since then, the winery’s been run by his wife Marina Cvetic, whose name is on the winery’s flagship wines and who’s maintained – and advanced – Masciarelli in the forefront of Italian producers.
The grapes used by Masciarelli are grown at vineyards across Abruzzo – including in the Castello’s own grounds – and the wines range from those made from traditional Abruzzo varieties like Montepulciano D’Abruzzo and Trebbiano, to more modern examples, using non-traditional varieties like Merlot and Chardonnay.
They’re all delicious.
Once upon a time, all Masciarelli’s wines were actually made at the Castello. Now, with the expansion of the range, they’re produced at a new winery nearby which you’re welcome to visit as part of your tasting.
But the very best wines are still stored in the magnificent original wine cellars and it’ll be here that tastings will usually be held.
And what will you be sampling ? Entirely your choice. There are six options – enough to please even the most discerning wine lover.
At the basic level, for €10 each, you’ll try a white from Masciarelli’s Villa Gemma range and a red from their Castello di Semivicoli line – plus local bread and the Castello’s own olive oil.
At the other end of the scale, €40 each will allow you to try seven of Masciarelli’s finest wines – including examples of the award-winning Marina Cvetic range – plus a delicious array of specially-prepared hot and cold Abruzzo antipasti.
And in-between the four other options are each based on tasting five different wines, with accompanying nibbles.
The tastings will be organised exclusively for the two of you; they’re extremely relaxed and informal; and carried out in English.
And in addition to the tastings, you’ll be shown round the Castello and its gardens. A perfect way to round-off your visit.
We’ll send you more details along with your Villasfor2 holiday booking – but if you’d like a sneak preview, take a look at what’s on offer !