Planning and detailing trips have never been a priority. Our Sicily trip was approaching fast with not many plans in place. One day, while flicking through Instagram, a winery popped up in the feed. The pictures showed the winery is situated next to Mt. Etna and carved into the slopes. Since I was going to be on the east coast in Taormina, there was no reason to research anymore about Sicily. Wine and food was found, so my goals turned into bringing my tasting glass to their vineyard.
Driving to the vineyard was a bit of a challenge. The navigation told me the vineyard is a 20-minute drive, but only a mile and a half in distance. While looking straight up, I could see the side of the mountain accompanied with roads stacked on top of each other. Vespas and matchbox cars were firing around the curves with no hesitation. American driving norms were thrown out the window, and it was time to pop it in first. With no hyperbolic language added, it is a miracle cars do not fall off these roads. Only a few cars passed me on the way up, and, by forces outside my control, our cars glided by with no contact. Then, with sweaty palms wrapped around the steering wheel, the winery came into sight.
The walk to the property brought the sights of the vineyard to life. The vines and property are extremely manicured that invites people to enjoy their wine outside. Walking inside, you can see that the building has been newly constructed. There was a bit history given about the land the vineyard sits on, and how the volcanic ash gives more taste to the grapes. But, even with the wine connoisseur articulating all that is Gambino Winery, my thoughts were fleeting to the tasting room.
As we sat down, we were given a selection of wines to choose from. The winery has the dry to the sweet, with reds to whites for you to experience. These days, my soul belongs to rosés and whites, however it was time to throw reds into this wine excursion. Paired with the wine was some meat and cheese that made the wine come alive. Italian wines are rich in history and character, and the winery kept this feeling. However, there was a modern, fresh attribute to these tastings. It was hitting the right spots with its classic Sicilian roots. The bottles were left on the table after the server poured the taster, so the vino was on a continuous flow.
Combined with this experience is the view from the mountain side. Looking over the ravine the patrons can see the beauty of the Italian country side. The drive, the trek, and the roads were all worth the moment. There is something about the life in Sicily that brings everything into perspective. Sitting there with a glass in hand; looking out to the sea, what more do you want?