Sailors get a Real Taste of Italy at Bagliesi Winery
Story and Photos by Amber Porter
AGRIGENTO, Sicily (October 19, 2015) — Sailors from Patrol Squadron (VP) 9 received an exclusive wine tasting opportunity on Saturday, October 17, at Bagliesi Winery in Agrigento, Sicily as part of an Information, Tours, and Trips (ITT) event.
During the event, the owners of the winery, the Bagliesi family, took 15 Sailors around the grounds where they learned the process for harvesting grapes and turning them into wine. Sailors were shown the grape fields and learned the history of the Sicilian wine industry. After exploring the winery, Sailors sat down for a traditional buffet-style luncheon hosted by the famous winery.
“We were incredibly excited that all of the available slots were filled,” said Louis Devato, the ITT employee who contacted the commanding officer about the opportunity for the trip. “Our trips and tours are a rewarding way to see Italy, even if the squadron is currently deployed. It can get hard working 12 hour days, six days a week. These trips are a great way to boost morale.”
Chris Madden, a Naval Aircrewman Operator Second Class at VP-9 agrees with Devato, saying, “I loved the winery tour, there is nothing better than getting off base and experiencing the host country you’re deployed to. The wine was amazing and the scenery was breathtaking. I’m happy we got to go.”
The tour allowed military members to sample four wines in the banquet room where the wines were produced. Sailors took turns turning the barrel and sampling wine. After the tour and lunch, Sailors had the option of purchasing wine from the exclusive cellar.
“The coolest part was getting to see how the machines pulverize the grapes and strain into the barrels,” said Madden. “Tasting the wine from the tap was one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences.”
For more information about ITT or any of the tours offered at NAS Sigonella, please visit www.sigmwr.com.