Tuscan vintner offers "adoption" by the barrel
By Barbara Cornell
MILAN (Reuters Life!) - When Luca Cutolo adopted, he dreamed of qualities any parent might expect such as round, robust and loveable -- but he was especially keen on drinkable.
Because when you're adopting a "barrique," a barrel with enough wine for 300 bottles, your baby better be good.
"I was incredibly pleased," said Cutolo, 33, an Italian who lives in Haarlem, the Netherlands, with his wife, Maria, and Giovanni, the real baby whose happy arrival prompted the wine adoption.
"I made a tasting for friends and colleagues and they said if you do this wine in the future, we will all be your clients."
Cutolo can only dream about his own vineyard, because he's deskbound as the lead information technology architect for a Dutch oil company.
But he tasted his dream, literally and figuratively, through the "Adopt a Barrique" program of the Valdipiatta Estate near the southern Tuscan hill town of Montepulciano.
Miriam Caporali, owner of the winery, has offered "adoptions" since 2004. The process, which takes from six months to a year, costs from 3,500 to 4,000 euros ($4,600-$5,258).
What she calls "aspiring producers" can even pay to stay in the family house. Continued...