We were also affected by the popularity of the agritourism. Our friends shared a lot of amazing stories about their trips to Spain, where they harvested olives, to the rancho in Austria, and about two weeks spent near the giant lakes in Slovenia. When we were listening to their stories, my husband totally forgot about the critical point of view. We decided to forget about the lazy holidays on the beach and to try the new field of agritourism by going to ecologically attractive regions.
After discussing our preferences, we were able to choose the direction. I wanted to go to Italy, and my husband wanted some wine. We have chosen Umbria because it’s more affordable than Toscana while having the same nature and a lot of wineries and farms. We have found an amazing room in a villa right in the village, where people harvest grape to produce wine. According to the description of the villa, the price included wine tasting and participation in the harvesting and processing of the plants (during a specific season). We were just in time when the weather wasn’t too hot, yet nature was still really beautiful.
Furthermore, we were promised to have a thousand different activities. My husband wanted to go fishing on a daily basis. We wanted to go to the nearest lake located in just a kilometer from the farm. We also wanted to see numerous fortresses located in the neighboring villages, and also to visit a local olive farm. In other words, we were sure that we would have enough time for all of them.
Well, not really.
We arrived at the airport and went to the villa. The owner told us that we were the third to visit him. The villa is simply giant! It has around 15 rooms, and it seems that it was built during the times of the Borgia Family. We looked around, and we could see the only vineyard with workers harvesting grapes. After that, we saw an amazing lake with a small forest and a tower just a kilometer down the slope. It looked like a real heaven!
My husband told me: “Tomorrow we are going to check all of them.” The owner was a bit skeptical, telling something like “you won’t be able to make it during the day.” I wanted to support my husband and told him that we would make all of that. What could be better than a walk along the vineyard or swimming in the lake and taking some rest between the oaks?
After checking in we were offered to sit on the spacious terrace with giant arcs. They brought us some food and wine. During the dinner, we met a couple from Holland and a family from France speaking English better than any of us. We started the process of wine tasting, and it was something really incredible. It seemed that the owner wanted us to try wine from all the bottles available at the farm.
When we think about the agritourism, we imagine going to a farm and working there, talking with the local people, making something funny, and having amusing tours. However, the real situation is a bit more prosaic...
I would never imagine that one farm can produce such a huge number of wine sorts. We tried white, rose, red, green and even yellow wine. There was a wine with peaches and almond. The owner offered us a tincture of the dandelion.
Later we were joined by the wife of the owner. She was a tiny lady, and she didn’t speak too much, bringing more and more bottles. In fact, I don’t really remember the end of the ceremony. We woke up a bit “crashed” next day in the afternoon. We walked to the terrace, looked at the amazing area that we wanted to discover, and saw the couple from Holland. They were “a bit tired too”, but they were more courageous… Maybe they are used to such ceremonies...
The owner came and offered us lemon cider. He also offered to taste apple tincture, but it was a homemade drink. It was the best choice for the crispy pancetta. After having the breakfast, our mood changed, and we went to sleep for a while. After that, we had another ceremony.
The same scenario waited for us on the third and the fourth day. The owner was making a lot of food, telling his interesting yet really useless stories. When the family from France was getting drunk, they started to talk even more. We spent the fourth night talking about the politics. We finished our discussion in the morning and went to the beds.
On the fifth day, I realized that we were making something wrong. I gave the bag to my husband, refused to have the breakfast, and we walked to the lake. It was amazing! We were able to eat grapes right from the vineyard. The lake was astonishing, but there was no beach, and we could spend time only on the grass. My husband decided to swim, and even saw an eel, while I spent around 10 minutes in the water because it was surprisingly cold.
The family from France left on that day, and the couple from Holland was going to leave the next day. When we returned to the villa, we saw that two couples from Poland were making wine tasting with the owner. We couldn’t change clothes after the swimming, and the owner invited us to the table. Polish people brought a lot of tasty things from the city, and we spent all the evening talking and eating. The owner promised to make a tour around the farm the next day, and we wanted to check the tower and the forest in the afternoon.
The tour started in the afternoon. The owner had a giant bag with three bottles of wine. Polish people had their own drinks, and we tried to look like tourists. We failed… The owner took the bottles in order to show, which sorts of wine can be made from different grape species. We couldn’t simply look at it without tasting (we did it before, but we could forget the taste.) As a result, the tour took 3 hours with two breaks. We ate everything that we took with us, and realized that we couldn’t go to the forest. The owner promised to prepare the farewell dinner for us, and we couldn’t be late. His wife prepared something really tasty and exclusive, and we weren’t sad that we couldn’t check the fortress.
While taking the taxi back home, we asked the driver to stop near the forest in order to make a couple of photos with the tower. We couldn’t go back home without having a couple of memorable photos. These days, when we talk about the next trips in the field of agritourism, we can’t choose between the fishers’ village in Slovenia, an olive farm in Spain and vineyards in Greece! What would you choose?