A Drinking Fountain That Dispenses Free Wine Now Exists

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Dream. Come. True. A public drinking fountain that offers up not water but Italian red wine (Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, to be precise) — for free, seven days a week — may sound like the stuff of fantasy, but it is actually now a thing.

Earlier this month, thanks to a joint effort by the Cammino di San Tommaso (aka the Way of St. Thomas) and Dora Sarchese vineyard, a fountain offering free local wine to thirsty hikers was unveiled in Caldari di Ortona, in central Italy’s Abruzzo region.

The fountain is situated along the Cammino, a 196-mile trek that stretches across paths and roads, regional parks and nature reserves, from the town of Ortona to Rome. Religious pilgrims and curious tourists flock there every year — and let’s face it, all that walking can make a person pretty darn parched.

Flowing within a gorgeously rustic wooden barrel, the wine fountain is in the basement of the lush Dora Sarchese vineyard (see a video on the vineyard’s Facebook page) and has already welcomed people from all over the world and gotten loads of media coverage. In fact, Nicola D’Auria, a key force in bringing the fountain to fruition, says that, to accommodate the unexpected level of interest, the fountain may need to be moved.

Speaking to the news outlet StartupItalia!, D’Auria confirms that the fountain is “always open,” although he clarifies that it does close at night, for logistical reasons. Supervisors are always onsite to make sure drinkers are “of age.”

It’s all very civilized: People sip happily; they’re not socking down glass after free glass and getting snockered.

“Those who come to drink, drink a glass, not more,” D’Auria told StartupItalia! (translation from Italian courtesy of Google translate). “And then I tell you one thing: The Abruzzo peasant culture has it that when someone comes into the house, the first thing you give them is a glass of wine.”

Now if only they could pair it with a fresh-pasta fountain…

Photo courtesy of @dora_sorchese