Wine and roses…

Two weeks of work and I feel rejuvenated.  Not only did I have a wonderful time working at Poliziano, but I met terrific people who were here enjoying Tuscany on their vacations.  Some, like me, knew the wine from the States, but others stumbled upon the wine at dinners in local restaurants or just saw the sign and decided to come take a taste.  I gave tours, helped prepare lunch and even conducted tastings.  The last was probably the most fun for me since I already loved the wine.  My immediate boss was Fabio.  He’s in charge of the in-house sales, the tastings, and the tastings with food.  He does A LOT and my job was basically to make his job easier.  Fabio, whose English is surprisingly good for someone who just began speaking it only two years ago, was a delight to work with.  He is funny, easy-going and patient.  He answered my ten thousand questions about wine, the vineyard and didn’t run screaming from the room every time I asked, “Posso farti una domanda?!

I met Americans from all over the country and some days it felt a bit strange since I kept meeting people from places I’d lived, Palo Alto where I was born, Vermont where I went to high school and even a woman who worked at the same hospital that I did when I was in law school.  After a year of speaking Italian almost exclusively, it was quite fun to catch up with Americans.  I especially enjoyed a couple from Maryland who have a restaurant there called “A little bit of Tuscany.”  They sell Poliziano in their restaurant and love the wine so it was quite enjoyable to show them around and spend the morning with them.  Rose and Kirk tasted some of the wines in the morning, and then decided to wait for lunch to continue so they wouldn’t be as Rose put it, “shitfaced.”  Not having heard that expression in a year, I laughed until I cried.

All of the groups that I took around were lovely and quite generous.  I kept receiving tips (including a very nice bottle of wine of the vineyard’s reserve Vino Nobile from a group of friends from Washington DC and the Hague who couldn’t believe I hadn’t yet tried one of the wines!).  The wine is delicious and may be my new favorite.  It’s called Asinone – which is named for the shape of its vineyard and literally means “big donkey.”  Unfortunately, one of the Americans re-christened it, and now I can only think of it as the “big ass” wine!  I want to say a special hello to Erik, Mary Ann and Mindy, Paul and Tom, and everyone else who suffered through my first two days of learning curve as my brain overflowed with details of how long the vintages spent in french oak, and then in the bottle.  Everyone was so supportive of this Americana who was happily learning and working!

Everyone who works at the winery from Federico who was seemingly in all places, to Stefania and Tiziana in the office, were welcoming and helpful.  Tiziana drove me home each evening to save me another trip on the bus and Stefania has made it her mission to help me resolve my issues with my documents.  As of yesterday, I was given a date to present myself in Siena and may just may receive my long awaited Permesso.  I made brownies as a thank you, but it hardly seems adequate!

I’m working again two days this week and maybe a week in July, but as I said to Anna and Federico after my lessons with the kids, even if it was just this small amount of time, I am grateful for the opportunity.  It was so nice to feel useful, and the work was truly a pleasure.  I’d forgotten how well you sleep after working nine or ten hours a day!  I hope there will be many more such days in the future.

In the kitchen with Fabio

The "tasting" room at Poliziano

The dining room where you can taste the wines and enjoy Fabio's delicious food!

Tiziana and Stefania in the Poliziano offices

I met Mary Ann and Mindy on my first day of work and they came back the next day with friends Tom and Paul. They all live in Arlington, Vermont where I spent some of my youth!

Jeff and Maria - a wonderful couple from Texas that read my blog and asked me to show them around Montepulciano. They were fun and quite generous! Thanks again, guys! Don't forget to have a margarita for me!

5 thoughts on “Wine and roses…

  1. I too, laughed out loud at ‘shitfaced’ I hope she said it
    in a really, really quiet moment with everyone listening…
    Could feel your palpable thirlls at having such wonderful
    work after your ‘lull’ hope it keeps coming, ‘Letters to Juliet’ has just been
    released so prepare for the American Invasion of the vineyards of Italy
    this summer,
    Louisa x
    P.S I fly out to sign on my appartment in Venice next week! high excitement

  2. Ciao Louisa,

    Congratulations on the apartment. That is so exciting. Thanks as always for your support and your positive energy! It’s really appreciated.


  3. Hi Jennifer,
    I just finished lunch with your mom and dad at Grandma Marcella’s apartment. They told me about your BIG move to Italy and your blog. I was so excited to find your smiling face on my internet search. I have read all of your posts and I will be a frequent visitor. Uncle Gary and I wish you the very best on this new adventure/life. I hope to see you again someday in the US or Italy.
    Much love, Aunt Kris

  4. Ciao Aunt Krissy!

    So great to hear from you. I reconnected with Aunt Linda through the blog too, so I am happy that there is a way to keep in touch a little. I am notoriously bad with correspondence! Give my love to everyone there. I do think of you often, even if there has been too much silence from my end. I hope you will plan a trip to Italy and come visit me!

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