After almost seven years in Italy (and some very, very deep soul searching), I finally realized something.
I have not spent enough time trying to connect with other people who share my interests.
I have been filling my body with wine, cheese and risotto; filling my eyes with landscapes, sunsets and historical wonders; and filling my hard drive with thousands of photos that help me share my beautiful adventures with friends and family back home.
With all of the photos and all of the amazing locations that I have discovered here, I figured that I should start this blog in order to share the beauty of Friuli-Venezia Giulia and northern Italy with not only my family, but also with the public.
So here I am, slowly sharing the hidden secrets and beautiful scenery of Friuli with you on the blog, as well as telling you a few of my crazy and exciting stories about how I ended up here in the first place.
And what has this blog done for me in return?
It has connected me with people who share my passions and interests!
Having a blog has helped me realize that I have spent far too much time wondering why I don’t fit in with the people surrounding me and not enough time trying to meet new people who do share my passions.
Who did this blog connect me with? Some other amazing expats, Italy lovers, photographers, writers, foodies, dog lovers, bloggers and…
Meet The Winefathers
Thanks to the wonders of social media, The Winefathers contacted me one day after noticing that I, too, was located in Friuli.
I’m sure that my love for wine was quite evident, so I was pleased that they reached out in order to get to know me.
Naturally, I visited their website to learn more about them.
Who are they? What do they do? How do they connect me with Italian wineries?
Who They Are
What do you get when you mix a few friends, a few glasses of wine and a dream to share the wonders of artisanal wine making with the rest of the world?
The Winefathers Team.
Inspired by the concept of Etsy in the U.S. and how it connected small artisans with the public, an idea came to founder Luca Comello one day: wouldn’t it be wonderful to do something similar…with wine?
From there, the concept to connect wine lovers from around the world with Italy’s small, artisinal wineries grew, and with the help of his family and a few good friends, The Winefathers group was born.
Last year alone they made a huge entrance into the wine world with their project at Expo 2015, by being selected as one of the top 25 New Entrepreneurial Talents by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
What The Winefathers Do
What they are doing in the world of wine is very unique and extraordinary. They act as your link to the small mom-and-pop winemakers who, instead of producing mass amounts of wine for huge profits, focus their efforts on producing smaller amounts of high quality wine to make a living.
Sure, you can come to Italy and ask Trip Advisor where the nearest winery is. It will provide you with detailed instructions on how to arrive by car, how far away you are and how long it will take you go get there. You can browse the comments and opinions of others who have already visited the winery and tasted the wine.
But Trip Advisor can’t tell you everything, and what it can’t tell you, the locals can!
For once, you don’t have to ask Trip Advisor or any other search engine where the good wine is. You can ask The Winefathers.
From the rolling Prosecco hills of Veneto to the volcanic slopes of Mount Etna in Sicily, they connect you with Italy’s hidden wine experts.
How They Do It
While these small, passionate winemakers need help to keep their family business going, they would also like to meet a few new people who are interested in the winemaking process and who want to build a relationship with them on a deeper level.
Here’s how it works:
1. Browse each winery on The Winefathers website to see what projects they are working on – whether it’s rebuilding a wall, repairing something in the vineyards or simply working to produce their fine wine – and choose the level of financial support that you’d like to give.
2. In return for your support, you can recieve wine, special discounts, and even a stay at the artisanal winemakers cantina!
The concept of The Winefathers is to help support these small businesses, but at the same time to become a part of their wine family.
If you’ve always wanted to visit Italy and get to know the locals, then this is your chance!
Just pack your bags and let your wine family know that you’re on your way. They are proud of what they do and love to share their way of living with others.
Show Me A Winery
So who put the “wine” in “The Winefathers” team?
None other than Mr. Marco Cecchini.
Here he is tending to his vineyards:
This spirited winemaker from Friuli has been a part of the project since the beginning, and I made a special visit to his winery in order to get to know his wine and to learn more about The Winefathers.
Since it’s the middle of winter here in Friuli, winemakers head out in the vineyards to do some pruning for the coming season, which is exactly what Marco and a helper were doing on the morning that I arrived.
I climbed the hill to his vineyards and turned around, only to have my breath taken away by the frigid winter air and the beauty of the scenery that lay before me.
If you would like to know more about The Winefathers or if you would like to support the artisanal winemakers be becoming a part of their wine family, I welcome you to visit their website.
Marco is just one of the select vineyards that you can support and the number of wineries and wine family is steadily growing.
This is a wonderful way for you to connect with some of Italy’s top winemakers and it will finally give you a reason to start planning that trip to Italy you’ve been meaning to take!
Pack your bags, wine-o’s. This is your ticket to the most unique Italian wine tour you will ever experience!