We took a sweet (see what I did there?! lol) tour with local guide, Aldo, to visit a honey farm and a winery in the beautiful hills and countryside of Irpinia. This was the first time that we had been to the province of Avellino and just the views alone were gorgeous! I have a strong obsession with bees, hoping to one day have some of my own, so I was stoked to test out this unique adventure! We first traveled into the hills to see where the bee hives were kept and talk about their environment. Afterwards, we literally drove about 40 seconds down the rode to the beekeeper’s home. Here, he showed us what the hives looked like up close, the process of collecting the honey from them, and we were even able to taste test and purchase honey if we wanted. This was a very intimate experience, which made it all the more charming and worthwhile. Our group was small and the workspace in which the beekeeper and his family worked in fit no more than 4 people in the room! Unfortunately, they do not open their home/business up to people regularly- this is more of a connections or who-you-know type of deal. The man was so gracious and his family was so kind. Our 6-year-old son was with us and they asked him if he wanted to watch the extraction process, and they even let him taste a spoonful of the honey as it dripped from the machine. So cool!
The hospitality continued as we went on to enjoy a delicious lunch and wine tasting at the house of Antonia. Antonia doesn’t speak an ounce of English but will find some way to communicate with you no matter what! She has the best personality- incredibly upbeat and personable. I actually could understand most of what she said and was able to say a few things in Italian to her myself! (Proud Italian-learning moment for me!)
Despite millennia of grape growing, Irpinia doesn’t seem to gain as much recognition compared to other Italian wine regions. The average vineyard here ranges from from a paltry 2 to 4 hectares and has always belonged to generations of farmers. The growers in Irpinia are blessed with a wealth of indigenous grapes and microclimates that invite varied expressions of wines like the DOCGs of Taurasi, Greco di Turfo, and Fiano di Avellino. The different geological and climatological factors of this region have been long known by locals, but only now are their effects beginning to be explored in earnest. More than ever, generations-old farming families are making indigenous wines specific to their region, which are slowly beginning to be explored. Antonia owns a small winery called Cortecorbo. She had a peaceful set up for a tasting and appetizers outside on her front porch, and we later moved inside to have the main course. We left with our bellies full of homemade food and a handful of wine of bottles!
Our roots will forever be from here, America, born and raised. Yet, life requires us to move more frequently than we care to count. Whether living stateside or abroad, you can always find us traveling somewhere. We scout out places that you only think you can dream of one day seeing and we seek out those that aren’t found in guidebooks. We then bring them to life here in our travel memos, so hopefully, one day you too can visit them or at least be able to live vicariously through us. This blog isn’t just about crossing off places from a bucket list. It’s about absorbing and learning how other cultures grow and fit into the same world that we do. Life is short and the world is big. Enjoy and get out there!