Guagnano in Puglia is at the heart of the Negroamarro territory and last summer was home to a wonderful evening of wine, food, art and music in the form of Terra del Negroamarro 2012. Earlier in the week Donna and Paola had hosted a tour of three cantinas in the area ranging from a small family affair, to a co-op, to a smart modern set up. The behind the scenes look at the work, lives of those involved and of course testing the products, with drivers and translators to hand makes for a great day out! They work hard to find the best places to visit and to arrange the whole experience so I won’t burst the bubble by saying which places were on the tour, but they are all very good.
The evening event was wonderful, as usual arriving too early, the booths were still being constructed and there was not that much evidence of what would follow. A short sojourn to a café and gradually it was evident that people were moving towards the old town centre. On leaving the café the ends of streets had candles alight and following them led to the town in all its glory. Suddenly thronging with people and queues at the ‘casa’ discussing what tickets to buy. On this occasion a ticket would buy a glass for tasting and a certain amount of samples of wine or various options on numbers of plates of food. Basically you exchange the tickets as tokens for food and wine. Different cantinas had paired with restaurants.
One of my favourites was the mozzarella stall, where they were making mini mozzarella fresh. There was such a range of dishes, candle lit roads leading to the stalls, fabulous wine, lots of live music and art shows to go with it.
An evening for strolling in very busy streets doing the circuits with a new experience at every corner.
The wine tour was arranged via Debbie and Bob hosts for the fortnight. Donna and Paola both have villas too, follow the links under their names. I thoroughly recommend doing a wine tour with people who have researched the cantinas and developed valuable relationships, the behind the scenes views, translation (and transport) are well worth it.