Every two years in September, a medieval town in northern Italy, Marostica holds a human chess game located at the piazza Partita a Scacchi. Donned in period costumes, the living pawns participate, and the town square becomes a large active chess board.
A historical reenactment of 1454, the story of Lionora and her two suitors. Daughter of a Lord Nobleman, the beautiful Lionora is pursued by two knights. During the barbican custom of duels; a deadly challenge to settle scores, Lionora’s civilized father suggested the two suitors play a game of chess and the winner will marry his daughter.
Down the road from Marostica is another historical gem nestled between Verona and Venice off Autostrada A10 is the town of Breganze. During WWII, the Germans were on one side of the river, the Allies were on the other side and a firefight occurred, no doubt that the river had turned red.
Breganze, The city of Vino, is one of Veneto’s wine regions and this area is known for its outstanding viticulture; notice the snowcapped Dolomites in the background. I prefer to visit the boutique wineries such as FIVI, The Italian Federation of Independent Winegrowers.
During the Autumn harvest, the white variety Vespaiolo is often dried to produce Passito style dessert wines. The wine grapes ripen to high sugar levels then the grapes hang from the ceiling in a drying room to make the golden hue sweet wine. When we helped with harvest, the farmers used old school nature methods to measure their desired brix levels. Instead of using modern technology, the farmers knew it was harvesting time when the grapes attract the vespa (wasp).
The Autumn season is all about harvesting your past Spring planting. During harvest, who has time for playing a long game of chess with a glass of wine, here's to you in hopes of a short game by winning with a Fool’s Mate.
The Delong 100 Grape Varietal Challenge encourages all wine enjoyers to expand their wine drinking horizon by seeking out unusual grape varieties. These past few years, I have tasted over 180 grape varieties. After all, there are over thousands of grape varieties world wide. With so many wine grapes, styles of wine, and wineries to explore, wine is an educational adventure. So grab your virtual passport and come along with me on a Grape EdVenture™ around the world.