What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than communing with nature on the back of a horse, followed by wine tasting and homemade pizza? Well that is exactly what we did today at Le Pignole, Brendola.
Situated on the west facing slopes of the Berici hills, Le Pignole is ideally positioned to absorb the rays of the lingering afternoon Veneto sun. With their impressive acreage, Le Pignole is able to offer an extensive variety of wines to suit every palate. Fortunate for the wine tourist, they are prepared to offer their visitors with the full experience, including an idyllic pre wine tasting horseback riding adventure for every skill level.
Skill level may be relative to the obedience level of the horse chosen for you by experienced guides. As an absolute beginner, my lesson consisted of mounting my ride, “Centinela”, and then being shown the basic commands for steering, accelerating, stopping, and reversing. Luckily, Cintinela was a very patient horse, and we quickly came to understand I was a total novice at the whole horsemanship thing.
The experience at Le Pignole is not however at the kindergarten level. Here you learn by doing, full immersion style. This is not your typical nose to ass pony ride. The trail advances quickly, and before you know it, tranquil vineyards are left behind for steep hillside single track. The Veneto plain spreads out below as you and your horse gain altitude on the gravel trail.
Centinela is I think the best behaved horse of the group, so it helped identifying myself as a beginner from the start. I gained confidence quickly, and we soon found ourselves trotting through the vineyards. It was as if this was something I should have been doing all my life, another time and place, a completely natural pairing, as has been the norm between humans and horses for thousands of years.
Waiting for us on our descent was a full wine tasting experience. Le Pignole for our group had prepared a small dining tent, which sheltered us from the threatening weather. Our hosts poured for us, paired with homemade pizza prepared in an outdoor wood fired pizza oven, the full spread of their hand-crafted wines. As the horses were tended to, we were invited to sample the fruits of the Colli Berici.
Feeling well prepared for the apocalypse with my new found horse riding skills, PashbyMaul adventures highly recommends Le Pignole for your next wine tasting, gathering, or horse riding adventure. This author can honestly say today’s experience was one of the top highlights of his nearly six years in Italy, and I can’t wait to go back.