For as many years as I care too mention, I have always wanted to experience a wine tasting tour and to understand wine culture. How wine is processed, the different grapes used, how to tell a bad wine, from a good wine or even a fantastic wine? In all honesty I’m clueless! Although, that said, I do like a drop of vino rosso from time to time, just to be sociable of course! Whilst holidaying at Park Albatros Village in Tuscany, we took the time to visit nearby Petra Winery, located in San Lorenzo, in the municipality of Suvereto. Petra Winery nestles itself in the most magnificent Maremma (a natural oasis), with oak trees and the Tyrrhenian Sea in the distance. Petra Winery sits proud, almost high and mighty; on the renowned Moretti family name. Italian winemakers with passion, knowledge and understanding of how to make exceptional wine.
A REFINED DESIGN
The long driveway of Petra Winery is lined with mature olive trees, and your eyes are immediately drawn to a splendid piece of architecture that dominates the skyline. Petra Winery itself. Dominating, enchanting, yet somehow unobtrusive to its 741 acres of natural surroundings. Designed by world renowned architect Mario Botta, this exemplary building is both flawless and impressive.
“A succession of different terrains, surrounded by parks and natural oases and bathed by a deep light, between the Metalliferous Hills and the Tyrrhenian Sea” – Petra Winery
The winery also has a touch of influence from the founders of Petra Winery, the Moretti family. Within this symmetrical building lies a long narrow tunnel dug into the hillside, aptly named the Barricaia Wine Cellar. Natures cellar lined with beautiful oak barriques on each side. Magnificent and functional.
STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN
Outside, and central to this symmetrical state-of-the-art building; is a stairway unlike any other…a Stairway to Heaven. The stairway, which is made from a striking pink stone known as the Stone of Prun; has 142 steps that seem to lead the way to, well…heaven! The steps symbolise a union between God’s wonderful earth and the sky. Lily-Belle was more than happy to climb to the summit, however Matilda was less than keen and kept her feet on terra firma! The climb to the top is exhausting but once you reach the tree-lined summit, exhaustion gives way to elation. Absolutely worth the effort! Panoramic views of lush green vineyards, turquoise oceans and graded mountains. Just beautiful.
PEACEFUL YET PRECARIOUS
The well maintained landscapes offer a series of different substrates that lend themselves to the growth of the grape. It’s peaceful, very peaceful and very hot…35°C in the blistering heat of the midday sun! At the top of the 142 steps the sun is unforgiving and even with sun-factor 50, we were burning! We decided it was probably best to seek refuge inside Petra Winery but not before taking a few pics. The walk back down the steps is precarious to say the least! One slip and it’s goodnight, sleep tight…forever! I had to get something from the car, and with the doors and window closed, the car temperature was reading an unbearable 48°C. Wow!
“Francesca Moretti was still at university when the first vine varietals were planted” – Petra Winery
CLEAN LINES AND COMFY COUCHES
The reception area of Petra Winery is refreshingly cool and air conditioned. Very minimalist with clean lines. The girls found a comfy brown leather couch to park their bums as Mummy and I admired the ‘Wall of Wine’. Yes please! We never thought to book Petra Winery in advance as the visit was more on a whim, but unfortunately for us; the wine tasting sessions were fully booked. This didn’t stop the young lady on reception, Elena, from chatting to us and enchanting us with a beautiful tale of how the Moretti family began in the wine industry. Elena was a charming young lady, polite, friendly and very knowledgeable…a great ambassador of Petra. And…we even got to taste wines from Belvento Winery (Ansonica 2017 + Velarosa 2017) and Petra Winery (Petra 2014).
WISHING FOR MORE
As we were unable to take a Petra Winery tour, we were given permission to take a few pics and roam outside. Our bad for not booking in advance, but the short period in reception really did leave us wanting to see more of this splendid winery. To console ourselves we purchased several bottles of wine (red, rosé and white) to take back to Park Albaros Village to enjoy with our evening meal. The Petra 2014 that I purchased made it all the way back to Northern Ireland in our suitcase. Now all I need is a special occasion so I can crack it open!
WOULD WE GO BACK
In a heartbeat, we have unfinished business with Petra Winery. Although we weren’t able to do a tour (our fault) we did enjoy the time that we spent at Petra Winery. The story of the birth of Petra Winery, the Moretti family heritage, the history, the architecture and last but by no means least, the passion; is truly captivating. A real ‘Princess’ fairytale with roots as deep as the vine!
With a very special THANK YOU to:
- Elena Volyanska – for your warmth and for the kindness you extended to The Callaghan Posse.
A heartfelt thank you to you all for making our visit to Petra enjoyable and memorable. We look forward to visitng again in the future.
LILY-BELLE SAYS (9)
There wasn’t really anything for children to do at Petra Winery so I got bored really quickly. Daddy normally lets us take a sip of his wine but wouldn’t let us today! The building itself was really nice, but the middle part looked like a giant frying pan. It took forever to walk to the top but the views made the effort worth it.
MATILDA SAYS (3)
It was hot and I didn’t have any ice pops. The stairs went too high and I didn’t want to do it.
Daddy: Hot, hot, hot! A welcome stop for ice cream and lollies at the first shop we came across on the way back to Park Albatros Village.
Petra Winery: book in advance, see website for hospitality packages
Date of visit: 20th July 2018
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