Save Vernazza, non profit organisation, is ready to start its voluntourism program again and this year it includes a new activity – a wine and food tasting at sunset on a fabulous terrace overlooking the beach. So for those who don’t feel like doing the hard work in the vineyards and olive groves, you can still donate to Save Vernazza by tasting local food and wine specialities while hearing all about them from the wine producers themselves…..of course there’s no stopping you doing both activities!
We had a test run with all the guides and coach drivers from the Busabout agency with whom we had started the voluntourism project last year – ‘Turisti nei Cian’ (Tourists in the fields). First we spoilt them with the wine and food event with Bartolo from Cheo winery, presenting 2 of his white wines, 1 red of which he is very proud and topping the evening off with the famous sweet wine – sciacchetra’.
Irene, our local bilingual guide and trained sommelier, assisted and will be essential with some of the other wine producers whose English is not as fluent. It was an experience for the Busabout guides and drivers to learn about the wine making traditions, the difficulties in cultivating vineyards on terraces, the added benefit of extra sunlight reflected from the sea, the best wine to go with the local specialties like farinata, rice pie, and anchovies and……you must come along to hear the rest!
The next morning at 7.30am we regrouped for the Turisti nei Cian project, helping landowners rebuild and restore stone walls and general maintenance in their vineyards and olive groves. It’s not easy work, just getting to the properties along the narrow trails is a hike in itself, but then these were a group of kids who had energy to spend and enthusiasm plus.
Before starting a brief explanation about Save Vernazza and the importance of the work to locals, the critical state of the territory behind the village and a big thank you, as every helping hand is useful in this little community.
Cheo winery needed help in rebuilding their dry stone wall that had collapsed during the 2011 flood, Saverio needed to weed amongst his vines, and Pensa had to shift rocks to begin a new stone wall. So armed with heavy duty gloves, buckets, picks and shovels and lots of water we set off for our various locations.
So do join us in Vernazza, Cinque Terre, between now and October. The wine and food evening runs once a week, while helping in the vineyards runs twice a week and you don’t have to be a Busabout client to join in.
For specific dates and bookings Save Vernazza project bookings
I look forward to seeing you here!