Altavita Winery – The High Life of Cesena, Italy

 

AtlaVita Winery, Cesena, Italy

AtlaVita Winery, Cesena, Italy

Altavita Winery – The High Life of Cesena, Italy

Sometimes in my life and in my travels, I meet people who are living their life to the fullest.  I immediately get a sense that they know what they want and go after it.  And Alessandra Giunchi of Cesena, Italy was no exception.  Handsome, smart and from a family that owned lime-rich soil in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, he set out to make a name for himself and to stake his claim to a great life.  Having learned English, attended an American university, and then attained a degree in food science and technology, he learned the ropes of what would eventually be his family-owned winery.  It was as if he had some ancestral instinct as to what he should be doing with his life, as I find it astonishing that he found his way to become a viticulturists and entrepreneur in a start-up winery business with his brother, who speaks less English and lives on the land himself…

The Giunchi Brothers of AtlaVista Winery in Cesena, Italy

The Giunchi Brothers of AtlaVista Winery in Cesena, Italy

Altavita Winery – The High Life of Cesena, Italy

Two brothers, two different pathways, yet together they make the perfect team.   Alessandro is the face of the winery, the public relations, the social media, the adverting, while his brother is the hands-on site manager, responsible for the day-to-day operations of this huge enterprise.   Together with their parents, they have opened up a successful winery in Cesena, the region with the perfect lime soil.

La Rocca Malatestiana, Cesena, Italy

La Rocca Malatestina, Cesena, Italy

As luck would have it, I was invited to be a guest at Alessandro’s outdoor lunch fortress at the La Rocca Malatestina, which is in Cesena, up a steep, cobble-stoned street from the famous limestoned Fontana Masini.

The famous, limestoned Fontana Masini in Cesena, Italy

The famous, limestoned Fontana Masini in Cesena, Italy

La Rocca Malatestina was built in 1380 and offers spectacular views of the city.

La Rocca Malatestiana, Cesena, Italy

La Rocca Malatestina, Cesena, Italy

Altavita Winery – The High Life of Cesena, Italy

They were waiting for our group as we stammered up the hill on this sunny Italian afternoon where we had a wonderful lunch underneath the shady umbrellas.

La Rocca Malatestiana, Cesena, Italy

Lunch at La Rocca Malatestina, Cesena, Italy

Lunch at La Rocca Malatestiana, Cesena, Italy

Lunch at La Rocca Malatestina, Cesena, Italy

Lunch at La Rocca Malatestiana, Cesena, Italy

Lunch at La Rocca Malatestina, Cesena, Italy

Lunch at La Rocca Malatestiana, Cesena, Italy

Lunch at La Rocca Malatestina, Cesena, Italy

Lunch at La Rocca Malatestiana, Cesena, Italy

Lunch at La Rocca Malatestina, Cesena, Italy

Lunch at La Rocca Malatestiana, Cesena, Italy

Lunch at La Rocca Malatestina, Cesena, Italy

Our lunch outside was accompanied with wines from their Altavita Winery.

La Rocca Malatestiana, Cesena, Italy

La Rocca Malatestina, Cesena, Italy

AtlaVista Winery, Cesena, Italy

AtlaVista Winery, Cesena, Italy

Altavita Winery – The High Life of Cesena, Italy

Alessandro’s family bought this fort, La Rocca Malatestina, as a place for people to gather and for Altavita to showcase their wines, especially the locally popular red wine Sangiovese.

La Rocca Malatestiana, Cesena, Italy

La Rocca Malatestiana, Cesena, Italy

After a grand tour of the grounds and undergrounds of La Rocca Malatestina,

La Rocca Malatestiana, Cesena, Italy

La Rocca Malatestina, Cesena, Italy

Alessandro drove us a few miles up a winding road to his winery, a bit outside of Cesena.  The views were the type of Tuscany scenes that take your breath away with the deep green, rolling hills of vineyards and olive trees.

AtlaVista Winery, Cesena, Italy

AtlaVita Winery, Cesena, Italy

It is here where the lime soil creates the distinctive characteristic flavors of the Sangiovese wine, like no other region of Italy.  I could stand here and gaze at it forever and fall in love, again and again, each time I think about how dreamy it was.

AtlaVista Winery, Cesena, Italy

AtlaVita Winery, Cesena, Italy

AtlaVista Winery, Cesena, Italy

AtlaVita Winery, Cesena, Italy

“If travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.” -Pico Iyer

Altavita Winery – The High Life of Cesena, Italy

Grape harvesting at AtlaVista Winery, Cesena, Italy

Grape harvesting at AtlaVita Winery, Cesena, Italy

With my red basket, gloves, and snipping scissors, I was ready to have a hands-on experience of harvesting grapes-which is what the workers do here on a regular basis when they are in season and ready for harvest. The workers are trained to detect grapes that are not quite ripe or have spoils that need to be separated from the good batch, which is one of the reasons this is still done by hand at AltaVita.  I find this astonishing as I look over fields and fields of grapes. With more than 50 acres of land, they produce lower yields than a typical winery because of this by-hand harvesting.

AtlaVista Winery, Cesena, Italy

AtlaVita Winery, Cesena, Italy

Once we were finished with our hands-on lesson of wine harvesting, we were ready for the grand tour and then the tasting room where there was a light meal prepared by Alessandro’s mother!  Yes, his Mother!  She made her own version of piadina, which is a typical Italian flatbread found in this Emilia Romagna region, and one in which each household in Italy has their own recipe version of the flatbread.  His Mom scurried around the table, as she brought her homemade meal from her nearby farmhouse.

AtlaVista Winery, Cesena, Italy

AtlaVita Winery, Cesena, Italy

Altavita Winery – The High Life of Cesena, Italy

Next time you are planning a trip to Italy, be sure you include the charming countryside of Emilia Romagna and do not forget to make Cesena the reason why you are coming. As I have written before about this region, I can assure you that this town alone will fill you up with Italian goodness and make you hungry to come back for more.  It is fabulous!

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Disclosure: This post was a part of Buonvivere Blog Tour, organized by Settimana del Buonvivere in collaboration with 21grammy.

2017-07-23T12:55:22+00:00