The Vineyards of Venissa sounds like the title of a great story that’s been captured in a book or a film or a piece of art. Something more immortal than a blog post.
You arrive in Venice and there are a thousand places you can go. Every street there is brimming with it’s own kind of allure. What do they want? What are all these people looking for when they come here? Blue moon reflections? A secret island get away? A Venetian surprise? A midnight carnival? I love this quote from The Beach, “for me it’s all about finding out something about a place and something about yourself. And when you get off the beaten track, that’s where you find out what there is to find out about.”
Who knew that such revelations could be the outcome from a simple journey for a spot of lunch? Then again in Italy lunch can sometimes be up to five courses, so perhaps these revelations are normal.
In Italy lunch is something one discovers, in fact every meal feels special here. That’s why it seems perfectly reasonable in Venice, to hop on two different water ferries and head out to an island called Mazzorbo having secured a reservation at Venissa earlier this month for lunch.
At home we play music and prep our meals together every Sunday. We jazz up our green beans with garlic, ginger and tamari and wonder who we were before piri piri sauce? Numerous tupperware boxes are bestowed with our lunches and dinners for the week. While it’s tasty enough, there’s nothing memorable about it but there is definitely something life-giving about the sea breeze that kisses your face as you walk into Venissa.
Venissa is a wine resort with two restaurants; one is home to eight hands that carefully prepare Michelin star food while the other serves up traditional fare in a tavern style osteria. Mazzorbo island is everything, medieval walls, a one-hectre vineyard, vegetable gardens and a 14th century bell tower. As I’ve gotten older I’ve found that things don’t sink in the same way they used to, but here by Adriatic Sea, I feel my skin again.
The lush soil of Mazzorbo has a knack for revival. The golden Dorona grape was almost lost – but the Gianluca Bisol (current CEO of 473-year-old prosecco empire Valdobbiadene D.O.C.G.) discovered the vines and brought them over to Mazzarbo. Along with his brother Desiderio Bisol and Tuscan winemaker Roberto Cipresso he was able to replant the Dorona vines on Mazzorbo’s rich fertile soil and bring the Golden Grape back to the land of the living.
Is that why we travel? To feel alive? Because after a while we just don’t feel as alive in our day-to-day-lives with our tupperware lunches and the lack of sea breeze on our faces?
After thinking about this for a while this is what I have realised, I travel in order to nourish the soil in which my roots lie. I definitely wouldn’t have figured that out if we had hit up the usual haunts in Venice instead of going a little out of the way for lunch in the vineyards of Venissa.