Location: Whitby, Ontario, Canada

Born in Malta but in Canada since age 5. Has written three books and presently does several columns about wine and food for various magazines.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

April 15, 2012: Back To Hotel & Spa Do Vinho

Many Changes
They say that change is the way of life and that point was made very clear today . We were scheduled to go to Caves Geisse but that was changed last night when we agreed to meet Deborah Dadalt at her hotel for a viewing of the history of the hotel and the areas vineyards.
When we arrived at the hotel we were told that she would be a bit late so we were invited to have lunch (acturally a brunch) at the hotel.
Deborah soon came and took us to a viewing room where she discussed the aspects of vineyards and the role her hotel played in the area. We then went down to the main foyer where we sat down facing each other and began an interview about her life, her loves, her interests and her future.
The fact that she was so in love with her husband was obvious. Her business sense and her business planning were astounding to say the least, revealing a very focused and talented individual who knew what she wanted and knew the steps to take to make it successful.
Deborah was a woman of many dynamics. On one hand her beauty was disarming yet comforting at the same time. Her intelligence and foresight were so sharp that in some ways it bordered on the psychic. It is no wonder that her husband who must have been equally talented, loved her so.
The two definitely belonged together and judging by their acquisitions of 24 hotels with another 20 being built, it was clear that their togetherness was mutually profitable.
The other thing that also became apparent was Deborah had exquisite decorative taste and if the rest of the hotels were as well taken care of then success for his couple could be classed as infinite.
At one point Deborah spoke of having us come down to visit while harvest was going on. We left it up for discussion. The one advantage to us if we came back would be to spend more time with this outstanding couple.
Before we left, Deborah gave us a bottle of her prized Merlot wine that was made at Miolo. We then bid our good-byes and were off to a friend of theirs who owned a winery not far from the hotel.
We went to the winery but unfortunately the winery was closed and even though we waited for almost 45 minutes, the winery remained empty and closed. We left.
Hotel Michelon and The Museum 
On our way back we stopped off at the museum of wine that was located at the foot of the road as we turned toward the Hotel Michelon. The museum had artifacts and information about the history of wine making in the Bento Goncalves and Vale dos Vinhedos areas by the Italian immigrants.
Among the historic items were barrels used to store wines, wooden de-stemmers and crushers, large funnels which fitted onto the barrels so the juice would run into them and large wooden presses.. There were also large functional milling stones used to crush and powder wheat and corn for bread and like. We found a couple of these stones just outside the museum at the back and could with some difficulty turn them around to show how they operated in the past.
The informative text description described the saga of the families that came, worked, built, lived and died in this area. This was a testament to bravery and determination of those who tamed this area.
Back to the Hotel      
After the museum we went back to the hotel where we relaxed until dinner and we had it at the hotel itself. Roy and I lounged around outside for awhile until we decided to call it a night for tomorrow we were supposed to meet our representative Paula early in the morning and catch a flight from Porto Alegre to Santa Catarina.
End Of DaySix