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This is the second part of a series on my recent trip to Abruzzo and Rome to Masciarelli Winery. See Part One HereIMG_6465

In the long expanse of travel time to Italy I found myself wondering what it was going to be like to stay inside a castle. So much of my trip to Italy was about changing expectations and ideas. I certainly did not imagine that an ancient castle could be so luxurious, so modern like Castello di Semivicoli, rising out of the shoulders of an ancient medieval town almost 400 meters above the sea.

IMG_6547Just 20 kilometers away the Adriatic sea; I could see it in the early morning beckoning with deep halcyon blue waves. I could smell it beneath the aroma of wood smoke and the wet newly thawed moss. 

As we drove in a zig-zag pattern up the ascent of the mountain over which the Castello looms I kept a vigilant eye out for wild boar, hoping to spot a specimen or a wild truffle poking out of the grass; I might have been hallucinating from porchetta overdose.


Below in the municipality of Casacanditella the houses were actually pretty nice – many featuring multiple stories, scenic views, and dirt bikes parked aside. Most of the towns people I was told not only work the land, but hold positions in the near by dress and motorcycle factories to supplement their income. Largely insulated from the effects of the economic downturn because the majority of their products are consumed within their respective villages.


magnums of new projects for the winery – chardonnay

A short tour of the restored Castello was extremely enlightening. The fine wines of Abruzzo were not always made in a modern style; historically relying on a large portion of heated oxidized grape must to provide longevity and protect the wine from transformation into vinegar. IMG_5878

The Castello also produced olive oil from its vast holdings of olive trees in the past as we could see from the massive wood and stone machinery – the ceilings still stained with suit and smoke from this past production. IMG_6034

We were given a further tour of the Baroness’s quarters, and shown our rooms – I naturally selected the dungeon room; delightfully restored with modern accouterment, modern art, and a fridge stocked with wine and italian goodies.


not a bad view by any means

I passed out in the luxurious bed for a few hours before heading downstairs to meet Joanie Karapetian, already at work on tasting Montepulciano.


joanie karapetian testing out the accomodations