In Italy, participating in la passeggiata is as routine as a morning cup of espresso. La passeggiata is an evening stroll at its most basic, but it is so much more than that. During the week, it marks the end of the workday and is a time to be social with others in the neighborhood before dinner. On weekends, the passeggiata is arguably the main social event of the day, when entire families and large groups of friends convene on the streets. Gossip is shared, flirting among the marriageable age is highly encouraged, babies are showcased and fussed over, neighborhood news is discussed. Men and women, young and old walk arm in arm, greeting each other with the classic European “double cheek kiss.” Some may call it outdated, but it is a tradition worth hanging onto and partaking in, in this age of social media and couch potatoes, and it was one of the highlights of my time when I was in Italy. My friends and I used the passeggiata to sightsee in the late afternoon sun, to grab a gelato or café (heaven forbid we order a cappuccino after 11 am – classic tourist move!), and gather in the town square to chat.
Last week I had the pleasure of taking an American passeggiata of my own at Ponte Winery. After a wonderful lunch with Ponte’s new marketing manager, Monica and Claudio Ponte, I had some time to kill and set out on a stroll around the property. I won’t lie and say it was like my Italy experience; it was very hot in Temecula that day and there were no gelaterias to be found! I did run into some old pals while strolling, though, and the vineyard views and scenery were remarkable.
First stop: the Barrel Room. Classic symbol of Ponte, in my opinion. It hasn’t changed much (on the outside at least). Timeless and beautiful.
It’s nearly impossible to get lost around here, so feel free to walk, walk, walk!
Completely serene, quiet and relaxing in the courtyard.
I met vineyard supervisor, Tim Gunn, in the tank yard.
Ever wonder what it’s like in the shipping department right before a Wine Club shipment?
Wine, wine everywhere…
And pallets of shipping boxes!
Veraison happening right before my eyes
Cheery little succulents on the porch of the Decanter Room
Unexpectedly ran into two of my best friends, Cab and Zin…
…and look what’s growing next to the Cabernet – yellow roses, which symbolize friendship
This way to paradise
I suppose this means the passeggiata is over.
‘Til next time, Ponte!
I miss the Italian passeggiata’s, but it’s good to know there are still some places that make it easy to take one when the mood strikes. As long as the winery is open, guests are encouraged to stroll the property and relax. We hope to see you strolling soon.
–Where is your favorite place to take a stroll?