The sun finally came out! First on our agenda was a visit to the lovely property of the Caseificio Barlotti where they produce mozzarella di bufala, a DOP product typical only to the region of Campania. We were greeted by Sandro who kindly gave us a tour of the Barlotti facility. We had the privilege of standing right beside the people who stir, stretch and form the mozzarella. Afterwards we were offered samples of the freshly made cheese – it was sublime!
The spongy outer texture combined with the soft gooey inside and the subtle taste of the salty brine is just divine! It is a labour intensive process but it starts much earlier with the milk. Each cow produces 10 litres of milk/day and 4 litres are needed to produce 1kg of mozzarella. After visiting the production and the animals, young and old, we sat down to a lovely outdoor lunch where we sampled delicious variations of this delicious and special product. Naturally, this was paired with a carafe or two of local Aglianico wine.
Next up: Paestum. Paestum is an archeological UNESCO site that contains three of the best preserved Greek temples in the world. They date back more than 2500 years and have clearly stood the test of time surviving earthquakes, weather and “unauthorized” excavations. It is a peaceful place, more of a park in comparison to Pompeii, with lots of green space between monuments. Our knowledgeable guide Lucia led us through the grounds explaining the history, significance and construction of these breathtaking structures. The beauty and size of these temples is truly humbling.
We left Paestum for Basilicata and checked in to the Grand Hotel Garden where we also enjoyed a wonderful meal paired with locally made wines from Cantine Terra Dei Re. First Claris, a bright and aromatic blend of Malvasia and Moscato to start followed by Vulcano 800, their Pinot Noir, grown at 800m above sea level whiche provides it the cooler climate that it needs. We savoured our veal with Nocte, their Aglianico, a delicious and full bodied red.