Wine for dinner. That is, wine is dinner.

We piled into the Opel diesel van for a Sunday excursion into the countryside, to Solopaca, a wine-making center in the valley of the Irpinian river Calore, about 75 minutes inland and north of Pozzuoli, to a winery where they pump wine into your empty demijohn jug the way you’d have gas pumped into your car. In the agricultural region of Benevento province, we passed vineyards and olive groves with views of castles and romantic villas in the green, hilly landscape.

Suzy and Darren, American friends who arrived to work in Italy at the same time as Ari and Travis, followed in their Peugeot. We enjoyed their company.

Besides the famous DOC Cantina Sociale Solopaca wine, we bought some packaged products of the region—biscotti, pasta, risotto, honey, and Arance Vaniglia Candite—to sample. On the way back we stopped at a roadside stand for a pumpkin for Ayla and roasted stuffed artichokes for me.

And lunch? Why, pizze, of course. Today’s were shaped square.

Please enjoy an article I found about the wine, and the winery’s website below:

And some photos. Ci vediamo!

Fill ‘er up with wine!

How Italians buy their wine at Solopaca. 5 euros for 5 liters.

View from the tasting bar

Roadside fruit stand


Papa carries Ayla’s pumpkin. It’s heavy!


Roasting artichokes. They’re filled with a chopped up vegetable that was new to me, salty and spicey hot. After roasting, the charred, outer leaves are peeled off and discarded for the customer. 1 euro each.