The idea of a public fountain that dispenses not lowly H20 but a never-ending stream of Pinot Noir is a dream come true for wine lovers—and a reality in one small town in Italy. Thanks to a vineyard and the non-profit that maintains a popular pilgrimage trail, people can now stop by for free wine, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The fountain, or fontana del vino as locals call it, opened last Sunday at the Dora Sarchese Vineyard in Caldari di Ortona in central Italy’s Abruzzo region. It is located along the Cammino di San Tommaso, or Way of St. Thomas, where thousands of religious pilgrims walk each year to visit Ortona, the final destination on their journey from Rome, where Jesus’ disciple Thomas is believed to be buried.
Inspired by a similar fountain that opened on Spain’s famed Camino de Santiago a few years ago, the Dora Sarchese fountain is meant to help pilgrims get through the grueling trek with a little liquid strength. The fountain is gated, but open to the public from 8am until 8pm. The vineyard says it’s not intended to be a hangout for drunkards or louts, but rather to provide thirsty pilgrims with an opportunity to quench their soul as well as their bodies.
A sign on the fence warns that the wine is strong, so visitors are encouraged to drink responsibly and not leave the gated area. The fountain has been a hit so far and the vineyard hopes to install more of them in the future. They are also collaborating with other wineries to create other types of fountains, including those that serve sparkling wines and even a fountain that dispenses dark chocolate to pair with the wine.
If a Wine Fountains like this could be installed in your hometown, what would you pour into it? The best answer will win a bottle of the upcoming 2015 vintage.
There are more than 2,500 public fountains, or nasoni, in Italy, pumping out water for all to enjoy. But this is the first of its kind to offer a more adult refreshment.
This may not be the fabled fountain of youth, but it sure seems to solve many of life’s problems. So, if you’re headed to Italy anytime soon, we suggest you make the pilgrimage and stop by for a glass of vino. You won’t regret it, though we do recommend you take it easy on the vino because, let’s face it, it is very alcoholic. Cheers!