Saturday, June 8, 2013

Perigua (Umbria) Home of the Umbria Jazz Festival and Cantina GORETTI by Philip S. Kampe and Maria Reveley

For the first twenty-two years of my life, our family home was in New Orleans (Louisiana), 'Birthplace of Dixieland Jazz'. My life experience brought me to Europe on numerous occasions.
Whenever I traveled (backpacked) Europe during my college years, every European that I talked to mentioned 'Jazz' and New Orleans in the same sentence. This happened for three summers in a row.
Eventually I moved to Europe (Nuremberg) Germany and taught at an American high school (journalism, photography and movie-making).
During the four years that I lived in Europe,the subject of Jazz was always discussedAs an adventurous traveler, with three months of summer vacation, and an owner of a VW min-camper, European travel was at my disposal.

During my summer journey, which always led me to Italy and Sicily, I noticed a billboard south of Milan advertising a 'Jazz Festival in Perugia'. As chance would have it, the Jazz Festival was going to take place within a week. With no definite plans ahead of me, I drove to Perugia, found a beautiful camp sight and parked my shiny lime green pop-up VW camper.
Perugia would be my home for the next week.
Meeting and conversing with fellow travelers was easy.
I talked with a couple of campers who I met near the sun-drenched swimming pool. We talked about Umbria and Jazz. They were, like me, in town specifically for the Jazz festival.
They also wanted to visit vineyards and taste the wines of Umbria.
Their plan was simple, swim, enjoy a late breakfast,  then drive to a vineyard near Perugia.

I was asked to join them.

At high noon we met and off we went, in search of wines from Umbria.
Little did I know, the couple that I was with were wine aficionados.
They said that we were going to visit a vineyard that is called "Goretti Winery". It is a working farm and vineyard all in one. The drive was short. We approached the vineyard and witnessed, what seemed to be, miles and miles of vines surrounding our vehicle. We drove to the biggest building we could see, parked and
was met by a Goretti  family member, I think named Gianluca.
He showed us around the winery, we sampled amazing wines (What did I know then?) and were served wonderful snacks.
The afternoon was an awakening and help mold my future.
This was just the beginning of many wine tours, for me, throughout Europe.

Now it was wine time!

The next afternoon we visited two wineries in Umbria.
My wine studies officially began.
While preparing for the Umbria Jazz Festival, we toured this landlocked paradise.
We visited the Basilica in Assisi, chocolate making in Perugia, the 14th century Cathedral of Orvieto, Spoleto, Terni,  Gubbio and Todi.Visually and culturally,
Umbria has it all. The region is known as the 'Green Heart of Italy'.

Umbria is a  true land of paradise.

And a land of people devoted to making the Umbria Jazz Festival an International event.

Crowds waited as the gates opened to welcome everyone to the festival grounds. I brought my sleeping bag with me, staked out what I thought was a great spot and waited for the music and the 'Jazz festival' to begin.

Now, over twenty-five years later, the Umbrian Jazz Festival, in Perugia, is considered one of the premier jazz festivals in the world.

The 2013 festival, which runs from July 5th to 14th (10 days), features Diana Krall, John Legend, Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette, Chris Corea and Herbie Hancock.
For ten days, Perugia becomes a musical village, where you can hear jazz in medieval buildings and squares.

And if you need to take a break from the music, visit Cantina Goretti, now considered one of the 'Top Wine Producers' in Umbria. The vineyard is well known for their 'Grechetto' and  'Sagrantino di Montefalco.

Visit: www.umbriajazz.com for all the jazz festival information.
Visit www.vinigoretti.com to learn more about their wines and to schedule a visit to the winery.
Use the newly developed  free app: Enogastronimia to learn about Umbria.

Philip S. Kampe
philip.kampe@thewinehub.com





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