Slow Food Movement program at Alcantara Winery

Residents of the Verde Valley are invited to join photographer Janise Witt, artist Ellen Kamerling and certified Shiatsu massage practitioner Sybil Larney at a delightful wine tasting at the Alcantara Winery on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2-4 p.m.

They come together to share their passion for the life enhancing aspects of the Slow Food Movement - a term coined by Italian food journalist Carol Petrini. He encouraged people to think of Slow Food as a creative and wholly enjoyable phenomenon.

He hit upon an idea that called for a return to traditional ways of producing food and wine where eating, drinking and celebrating life is an art in itself. Now the Slow Food Movement is thriving in Italy where it is referred to as the CittaSlow Movement

The trio of Sedona locals Janise, Ellen and Sybil enthusiastically embrace the CittaSlow Movement flourishing in Italy. They decided to co-create an adventure called Slooow Travel Tuscany to "slow down and live it up"!

Their unique journey is planned to coincide with the Summer Solstice and full moon, June 19-29, 2013.

Each day begins with Sybil's Zen stretching class and a guided hike, photography excursion or outing to a nearby Agriturismo dedicated to the CittaSlow Movement. The trip begins in Florence and takes you off the beaten path to the Tuscan countryside. Stay in charming small villas. Unwind and breathe in the beauty of life on the slow track. Meet lovely locals who rejected the "rat-race" in favor of cultivating their land and their lives with a slow hand. Experience life anew at villas and vineyards where people spend "a half day preparing great food and the other half eating it!" Savor wines from local vineyards. Cooking classes, convivial dinners and occasional evening soirees round out the day.

Afternoons allow for leisure time: swimming, reading, horseback riding or even a custom tailored art experience. Try your hand at plein air painting or sketching with featured guest Carolyn Torrez Ensley, well-known Sedona artist and instructor. Carolyn's curiosity about ancient cultures led her to study the techniques of goldsmithing, granulation and encaustics developed by Etruscans who lived in what is now Tuscany. She applied these techniques to revive abstract painting in encaustic and oils to capture and celebrate the beauty in nature. She will be available most afternoons to help people who feel compelled to express themselves in a heartfelt way try new painting and drawing techniques or wake up old forgotten ones. It's a great opportunity to put "pen to paper" from inspirational hikes in the surrounding Tuscan hillside.

The gathering at Alcantara Winery is the perfect place to explore how the CittaSlow Movement flourishing in Italy is also flourishing right here in the Verde Valley. Meet dedicated creative vintner Barabara Predmore.

Learn how her vision of sustainability embraces the vibrant, holistic coming together of all aspects of life: the vines become earth's bounty bringing together family, friends and community in the fun and enjoyment of living life well. As the vineyards and wines grow our community grows and prospers together.

Sample Alcantara's wonderful organic local wines at a complimentary wine tasting hosted by Janise, Ellen and Sybil and Alcantara Winery. Innovative chef Lisa Dahl gifts some delicious hors d'oeurves to add to the tasting. Lisa's wonderful culinary treats are inspired through her decades of Italian and Mediterranean influenced cuisine. Her vision and passion for life's essence - its magic elixir, is evident in all she does. She finds it in friendship, beauty, gratitude and in the daily joys of cooking and sharing food.

Lisa Dahl will be on hand from 2-3 p.m. to share her exquisite "Elixir of Life" cookbook which won the top Gold Medal prize in the Cookbook category at the 2011 IPPY awards.

The book is a discovery of "finding love and joy in the passionate pursuit of food". It will be available for purchase and signing by Lisa.

At 3 p.m., Janise Witt presents a slide presentation of photographs weaving the beauty of Alcantara with the trip to Italy with Lisa Dahl that resulted in "The Elixir of Life," together with images to whet your appetite for Slooow Travel Tuscany in June 2013. Janise's passion for capturing photographs of earth's bounty, family and beauty and all celebrations with family and friends (whether in Tuscany or right here!) will be one of the highlights of the afternoon. Don't miss this slide show that takes you on an inspirational travelogue from our glorious Verde Valley to Italy.

We look forward to seeing you at Alcantara Winery on Saturday, January 12 at 2:00 p.m.. Please RSVP to Barbara Predmore barb.predmore@commspeed.net 928.649.8463

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