"Wine gives one ideas whereas Champagne gives one strategies." Roman Payne
After finding the address for the winery on Google, Jim entered it into the GPS, and we were off. Our experience with GPS in Italy has not been very reliable. I vividly remember one night several years ago when the GPS suddenly morphed into HAL from 2001 a Space Odyssey. It was after a beautiful dinner in the hill town of Cingoli in Le Marche, and we were heading back to the little country house we were renting. Once outside of the Cingoli city limits, the GPS became overbearing, demanding in a sultry female voice, "turn left, turn left, turn left". I wanted to turn off the obviously demented machine, but Jim kept following until we reached a precipice and were directed to drive off the cliff. Generally, after this experience, I am our navigator directing each turn with map in hand and an eye on the road signs. Unfortunately, we had no detailed maps of the area around Lake Iseo, and Jim, being more comfortable in general with technology than I am, wanted to try our new GPS. After all, this newer model was theoretically, at least, more reliable than the one we had nearly 10 years ago.
With some trepidation, we headed off to find Barone Pizzini. We made our way through two of the multitude of tunnels surrounding the lake, and skirted through a few small villages until we arrived at a two lane road through the vineyards. Amazingly, we actually arrived at the winery with no problem. And by the time we had parked our Alfa in the winery parking lot, the sun, hidden by clouds for most of the morning, suddenly appeared.
By now, the noon hour was approaching, and I was getting desperate to find another cantina. Finally, I spotted a beautiful gate up on the hill, and I knew we had found a major winery. At the next round about (these circles are very convenient for the perpetually lost) we turned around and made the turn leading to Ca del Bosco. Ca del Bosco is on every list of must visit wineries in Franciacorta. It had also made it to my list. I had tried to contact them a week before our trip to arrange a time for a tasting, but I never had a response. So, now, unannounced we took the turn off, entered the imposing gates, drove up the very long driveway, and found ourselves in the parking lot for Ca del Bosco. Walking around the side of the building, we were greeted by a beautiful, park-like setting replete with rolling grassland, statuary, and wooden bridges spanning a large pond. Luca was immediately happy and decided it was time to rest in the grass. Jim and I were busy taking photos of the impressive cantina and setting. Finally, we convinced Luca that it was time to enter the building, and he reluctantly followed us through the doors.
For more information about the Barone Pizzini winery, visit their website at http://www.baronepizzini.it/en/
For more information about Ca del Bosco, visit them at http://www.cadelbosco.com/en/
Check back next week for the final day of the Franciacorta Tour: Bellavista and Solive.