Purple Palate Blog

Day 32 – Umbria to Vasto

Up early for our big day on the road heading over to the east coast. Looking at the map, it was way to long to do in one day, so we decided to stay over in Vasto, about midway.

It was with a bit of a heavy heart that we left out little house in Umbria. We have decided that Umbria is much more our cup of vino than Toscano. The people are lovely, the land well tended, and with a sense of pride. Far more agrarian than Tuscany, and far prettier. The wine in Tuscany, perhaps more suited to the Australian palate, the Umbrian wines are more traditional, and they’re OK with that. They are distinctly regional, even within the small area that is Umbria.

We headed south for a bit to checkout Deruta, having been so impressed with the examples of ceramic ware we saw in Spoleto.

We got there around 10.30, thinking the multiple artists studios would be open by then, but no… They had “open from 10-1 then 4-7 signs up, so of course at 10.30, the first 3 we visited were closed.

Getting a bit over it, and needing to get back on the road, we tried one last one. It was of course the studio that was producing the piece that Roz had loved in Spoleto, so wallet much lighter, we got back on the road.

We stopped for lunch when we hit the coast, some 3 hours in. Had calamari matched with a local white, Trebbiano from Rio Maggiore. Matured in oak, the colour was deep yellow, the nose floral with lemon flowers, and the palate had high acidity with lots of old oak charachter. Kind of threw me a bit, as I had never had Trebbiano as heavily oaked as this.

The weather had set in, above is our first view of the Adriatic, so back into the car and “keep the sea on the left” for the next 3 hours. Roz tried to plot us a course that would give a a sea view, but the mad Italians had decided that that nice flat bit of land that runs along the ocean would be perfect for a train track. So back onto the autostrada. 

We had been warned repeatedly that the further south you went, the worse the drivers.  We ducked into Trani (tee hee hee) for a caffe, and given this place is about the size of Gladstone, and there is not a single stop sign, giveaway sign, nor roundabout in the entire Centro region, the traffic was intense. Having said that, it was like they have a sixth sense. Everyone just figuring it out as they went. Made for great entertainment, until you actually had to drive in it… Then not so much.

Lobbed into our accommodation just before sunset. When they say ocean frontage, they really mean it. You would not want to be a sleep walker. Just beautiful. Below is the view from our bedroom window… That’s a 10 meter cliff beyond that sturdy safety barrier.

Take away pizza and a lovely bottle of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo for dinner. Beautiful colour intensity, rich dark purple. Palate of up front fruit with lashings of dark chocolate, bright blackberries, soft tannin… Lovely wine thank you Luigi.


Ciao, Andrew

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