You may have seen a lot of public fountains in your life, but you’ve probably never come across one that dispenses wine. Now you can, thanks to a vineyard in central Italy. A fountain at Dora Sarchese Vineyard in the small town of Caldari di Ortona is the first of its kind, reports Mashable. It dispenses red wine to the public free of charge, 24-hours a day. The fountain was installed along the Cammino di San Tommaso, which is a pilgrimage trail dedicated to Saint Thomas the Apostle, who was one of Jesus’ disciples, and his relics are housed in Ortona. The fountain came to fruition as a partnership between the winery and a non-profit organization that maintains the trail.
While the fountain is a first for Italy, it’s not the first of its kind in the world. You can find a similar fountain at Bodegas Irache in Navarra, Spain that’s open to anyone who walks the trail. It works much like a water fountain and provides thirsty pilgrims with wine to refresh themselves.
The fountain also demonstrates the winery’s commitment to sustainable agriculture and to making quality wines that are accessible to consumers. The wine is served by volunteers and visitors, who pay a small donation to help sustain the project. The wine is poured through a small spout at the top of a large metal cylinder, which keeps the temperature and taste consistent. The spout is connected to an air pump that provides oxygen, so the wine stays as fresh and delicious as possible.
In addition to the wine, a small donation can also get you a stamp for your Camino passport at the fountain. This is a great way to show you completed the pilgrimage and that you’ve earned your glass of wine. You can also buy wine in bottles at the winery.
While this fountain is a must-see for all wine lovers, it’s important to remember that you should drink responsibly and always abide by the law. Do not use the fountain to get drunk and endanger yourself or others, and don’t bring any outside alcohol into the area.
The free Wine Fountains was inspired by the story of how Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding. The winemakers at the winery hope that people will take advantage of this unique opportunity to experience the beauty and magic of this region. If you’re interested in visiting, be sure to check out their website for a complete list of events. You can even book a tour online!