This is set in view of the beautiful town of Ascoli Piceno with the Monti Sibillini mountains spread along the horizon behind. The winery is larger than the other two but still places a great deal of emphasis on quality. This is evidenced by the long corridor adored with awards as we walk down to the tasting room.

The founder of the winery, Angela Velonosi, is one of the pioneers of Pecorino and we were proudly shown an example of the first vintage when Pecorino was produced under the Velenosi name in 1983. Unfortunately we didn’t get to taste that bottle but we were treated to a taste of the current range, which was impressive.

Villa Angela, Pecorino, 2014

Pale in colour compared to the other pecorinos we’d tasted. Very tropical aromas with an great acidity, making the side of the mouth water with each sip. Wonderful easy drinking make this an ideal party wine!

Villa Angela, Offida ville Angelo 2014

Much more intense nose. Full bodied, rich, banana and honey. Still good acidity that makes the wine so drinkable. I enjoyed this on its own. Perhaps some slices of bread with fresh green olives would be nice but the wine needs to be centre stage!

Velenosi 'Reve' Pecorino Offida DOC 2011

Amber in colour. Strikingly golden. Rich flavours of caramel, white flowers, vanilla and yet with a good acidity that swept the palate clean after every mouthful. 

The acidity is the key that would make this an adventurous pairing for food. I’d love to have this served with lobster and chips. The richness of the lobster making a luxurious partner to the wine! 

Visit the winery online: http://www.velenosivini.com/ 

Winemaker and owner Nicola D’Auria greeted us at the entrance of this fascinating cantina. The winery and cellars have been designed by Rocco valentini in the shape of a vertical barrel in order to immerse the tasters senses in wine.

 

East from Roma to Abruzzo

From Rome we headed east to Abruzzo, a region of Italy that rises up like a burly landlord to greet the traveller. The Apennine mountains at their tops are stark and beautiful, lonely, yet fulsome. Rustic doesn’t quite do this landscape justice. It’s a place for pilgrims, peace lovers and, of course, we followers of Bacchic and gastronomic pleasure.

 

After days of picking grapes in one of the world’s most famous wine regions, the pickers get together to drink, chat and enjoy the drinks they are meticulously involved in the making of. 

Also check out local winemaker, Nico’s, top tip for a white Burgundy from Saint Aubin that you don’t have to travel to Burgundy to get!

 

What started in El Quatre Gats tapas bar in Barcelona, soon became an adventure in the Marche region of Italy, that lies along the east coast facing Albania across the Adriatic Sea. El Quatre Gats is famously where Picasso had his first solo exhibition as a young edgy artists in the Catalan capital and I was there dining with Dr Pia Casarini Wadhams, Director of Italy’s only Polar Institute, Il Polo.

 

The Palazzo is located in the centre of Fermo, a small Roman hilltop town with a rich history dating back to antiquity. Flying from abroad, Ancona is the closest airport, 67km north (about an hours drive) along the coast of the Adriatic sea.