On the way back to the port in Durrës we had the opportunity to stop at the Çobo Winery. Today, I would like to stress the DOORS that have been opened since the fall of 45 years of communism in Albania. It has taken another 20 years for Albanians to prosper from their private endeavors! The country is intriguing because it still is virgin and unspoiled in their struggle to return to capitalism. The people of Albania are working day and night to bring their country up to date and bring back industry that once was theirs alone. Such is the case with the Çobo Winery. The family has been growing grapes here since the early 1900’s. Under the communists they could no longer produce wine and had one bottle of wine at New Year’s. (All that was allowed and it was state- produced) But, every New Year the family spoke of memories of their grape vines and wine producing in their family, before the Communist takeover. And two of the young men were determined they would again grow grapes. One in three Albanians left the country during this time, in order to make a living and support their families. One of the young men in this family went to study law in Italy. While he was there he decided to study their grapes and wine production too. In 1998, he returned to Albania under a new freely elected government and decided it was time to again grow grapes! Çobo Winery is a family run business. It is located in a small underground cavern behind their house situated in the middle of the vineyards. You can’t get any better than that. There is nothing else for miles around and it is quite surprising to drive up to this delightful looking winery! So let’s go in the gate!
If the grapes are as good as the care they take of their house, gardens and landscaping, we are in for a treat!
As a gardener I have to
nosy wander around and see the gardens.
Ok, I will get around to the kantin! Is that for canteen? Similar to the Italian word for cellar? Yes, I think so. Just this way…………..
But, I am going to look at the flowers and the bees……….both perfect……….
and the three-tiered house……..
On to the cellar!
and the pristine machinery…….
and the old wine jars……..oh, how I wish I had one of those in my garden!
It was dark and cool in the cellar and my color photos rather dark, so I made them black and white……..
Today, the Çobo family produces over 100,000 bottle of wine a year…….. I’d say that is very good for such a small family operation…….
and then up to the tasting area of their home.
They are very proud of how far they have come and that their wine is sold in so many countries, including the U.S.
So here’s a toast to Albania and free enterprise! Albania is free!
I hope you have enjoyed the Doors today and all the posts I have written on Albania. It was an eye opening adventure and gives one great insight into what we have and what one gives up under a communist regime. You also realize the suffering the people went through and how long it takes to recover from that way of life……., but, we must leave now. I hope if you see wine in your area that is produced in Albania you will buy it. You will be changing a life forever!
See you next in Greece!
Have a great door week! Look here to see what others are doing for Norm’s Doors!
It’s easy to do Norm’s Doors. Photograph some doors and post them to Thursday Doors on Thursday!
PS All photos were taken on our IPhones this year……..we are traveling lighter!