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Saturday, February 4, 2012
Umbria, Italy

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!
Next on the itinerary: Our spring tours in Barcelona, Venice or Prague

When we met with some of the wineries and travel providers from Torgiano while in Perugia, they told us that it does not snow in their area. And sure enough, although it’s freezing cold, there has been no snow on the ground in Torgiano and surrounding villages.
You don’t have to look far to see the sheen of white, though, as the mountains in the not-too- far distance are draped in snow.

As we begin our journey we appreciate a rare sight – olive groves in the snow!

Doesn’t that white stuff make the patchwork of fields look more defined and beautiful?

We’re enjoying the vistas – and SO glad that we’re not doing the driving! We’ve heard that the other two post-conference tours – one to the region of Tuscany, the other to the Marche coastal region – have been stalled by the severity of the snow, and that the participants are stuck in their hotels, unable to see the scheduled sights. What a blessing that we’re able to keep going and see nearly all of what was planned for us!
On our itinerary we read “Breakfast at the winery” – but the gracious owner of Villa Zuccari would not hear of sending us away without something – “just some coffee and cakes”. She prepared a spread of scrumptious home-made cakes, and it was a good thing because when we arrived at the Antonelli San Marco winery, the tour of the facility came first.

We shivered in the wind as Brunella told us about the wine beneath our feet,

and were happy to get inside, taking a huge wine-box- lined elevator down to where it was a little warmer for the rest of the story.
After seeing where this award winning elixir is made, we dashed across the snow and into the house, gathering ‘round a roaring fire. Due to the storm the house lost power, and the heat has been off all night, so it’s a while before the room warms up enough and we can take off our coats and scarves.

The lack of electricity sure didn’t affect the breakfast preparations – platters of crunchy bruschetta, cheeses, and wine preserves,

melt-in your-mouth pears baked in wine,

and this may be the first time we’ve had wine with our breakfast – generous pours of both white and red.

Sated and warm, we climb back on the bus, trusting our competent and cautious driver Vanni to get us to our next stop, the Barberani winery near Orvieto.

The road situation worsens as we drive south, and our tour guide gets a call from the winery: their driveway is impassable, and they will meet us in Orvieto, bringing their wines to us instead of vice versa.