When I was younger the adults in my life always told me to be passionate about what I wanted to do or be in life. I was told that passion for something, in addition to hard work and determination, could set me apart from my peers. I decided that if I was going to be working almost the same job my whole life I should probably pick something I liked, but I never understood how that would set me apart.
Yesterday the O-Chem group took a trip to Pomaio Winery here in Arezzo. I was probably the smallest winery we had seen, with very little variety in their wine and low production. But it was absolutely my favorite one to tour and learn about because our guide, Marco, was so obviously passionate about his career. The people at the winery wanted to make great wine, so they only live up to half of their production capacity to ensure that the wine they sell is the top quality possible. Even after four weeks studying I still know practically nothing about wine but I could tell that they cared so much about it.
Another thing the people of Pomaio are very passionate about is being green. I think their views are why make great wine with shortcuts that harm the environment? It would just make life harder for everyone down the road. So they live and work my their Think Green mantra: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rethink. The grapes that they don’t use every year and the trimmings off the vines at the end of the season all go to make natural compost and mulch for the vines the next year. When Pomaio was excavating their rather excellent wine fermentation cellar, they used the boulders they disturbed to build part of the walls and foundation, which also gave natural humidity and temperature control. They buy the cork for their bottles from companies who reforest after harvesting the cork trees. They have a company calculate their Carbon Footprint every year and they pay to help reforest the Amazon to reduce their Net Carbon Footprint to zero.
They even bottle and label their own wine so that they can take responsibility for every step of production. And they add no chemicals to the wine beyond what is required by law to sell the wine across borders.
Listening to all this, it was easy to see that they truly care about the wine they are making, but also they land they are working. Marco said something near the end of our tour that really resonated with me: We (the workers/family) won’t be here forever. We just want to make something that someone else will want to take care of.
After all of that, we got to do the wine tasting. Which also happened to be my favorite wine tasting that we have done this month. We tried a Rose wine to start with, and Marco gave us a short informal class on how professional taste wine. It was really fun, and the Rose was amazing! I ended up buying a bottle to take home and share with my family! We also tried a Chianti, and Sangeovase, and a Merlot. I didn’t buy any of those because none of them are particularly my cup of tea (glass of wine?) but I could tell that they were amazing wines. They had a fuller body and more complex flavors than I have become accustomed to. And their bouquets were all very intense. I spent some time just smelling the wine because it was so amazing!
Pomaio’s passion for what they do stuck out to me in a way none of the other wineries I visited managed to, and they inspired me to try and be more passionate about my own life. I am really excited to see if a new outlook with make any differences for me. And I hope that Pomaio continues to grow and thrive while they #ThinkGreenDrinkRed!