Meet Paulo and Lenira, they are from the Porto Alegre area and as wine lovers had never been to the nearby wine country. They had been many times to Gramado to see the Christmas decorations and programs, and enjoyed telling us about great time they had had. Camillo and I decided to spend this Christmas in Gramado and they decided they would take us there via the wine country.
SO on the 22 of December, we met at the airport in Porto Alegre and after a great lunch with Lenira's sister at A melhor galeteria - Via Vêneto, we began making our way to 'the wine country' of Brasil.
I have to admit that Camillo and I have not EVER been fans of ANY Brazilian wine. The reds are .... well I have no words, maybe immature fits, and the whites are just okay. But the wine country of Brasil itself - comes Close to having the look and feel of Umbria in Italy - Do you realize how beautiful I mean it is by saying this? Umbria is my MOST favorite place in Italy.
Sorry, I have to back up a moment - the restaurant - Via Vêneto a small family restaurant specializing in Galetto - a little roasted chicken, flavored much like a Cornish hen, got us started with a glass of local spumante - it was light, bubbly, cool and refreshing in the heat, a very good start.
Camillo and I generally travel with a loose plan, sometimes with reservation but not always. Paulo on the other hand discusses plans but then adjust them by the minute as he thinks of things we should see. After many hours in the car, weaving in and out of towns of his youth, and stopping for a moment at the Perterlongo Winery in Garibaldi, we arrived in Bento Gonçalves. Once in our first planned destination, it took only 35 minutes to find a hotel to our liking, make plans to meet for dinner, (With both Camillo and Paulo the next meal is of utmost importance.) and to jump into a hot shower.
End Day One!