As cooking is a big hobby for me, I love to cook and make all kinds of dishes. From my experience, one of the most important features of a great dish is fresh ingredients. Living in Chicago and being a college student, it is difficult to find or buy fresh produce as it is expensive or is provided in limited quantities.
Visiting the winery and olive mill was a dream come true. Knowing very little information about wine or how both wine and olive oil was produced, I was fascinated and eager to hear what they had to say.
What caught my attention was both Albert and Antonio’s passion for what they do. It was shown that they love what they did and they put time and effort to make the best quality products to provide to their local areas.
Albert, the wine producer, worked on the winery since he was a teenager. His excitement and passion for wine clearly showed during the tour, pouring his knowledge onto us as we try to keep up with his energy.
Antonio, although not being to speak English and needing Albert’s help to translate, showed his love of olive oil making when explaining how the old method of making olive oil had a better taste and as he put it, “romance”, in producing the oil. He even took his love of olive oil a step further as he used his family first name’s to represent the face of his olive oil products. This act shows that he wants to keep his traditions alive through the generations, as their methods and culture can be preserved in a supportive and dependent community.
Listening to Albert and Antonio has also taught me a few lessons about their community. Because of the drought, it is difficult to produce wine and oil. Antonio mentioned the effect of weather reducing the old method of oil production by 60%. They have both have converted into quality products. Though their efforts to change into a more authentic method and products show their connection and care to their community. Quality food not only needs the right altitude, soil, and weather, but love to tend and take care of not only generations of hard work and tradition, but a community that they cherish and want to protect for years to come.