Imagine a drinking fountain that, instead of water, dispenses red wine—and costs you not a cent. It might sound like the stuff of dreams, but it’s actually become a reality in Italy, where a vineyard has unveiled a fountain gushing local Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wine 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The first of its kind, it’s open to thirsty pilgrims who visit the Cammino di San Tommaso (aka the Way of St Thomas), reports The Local. The vineyard, Dora Sarchese, worked with the non-profit that promotes the trail to create the booze dispensary. It’s not intended to be a hangout for cheap drunks, but rather a welcome to pilgrims who walk the 143-mile route from Rome to Ortona, where the body of St Thomas is kept.
The fountain was designed by architect Rocco Valentini and uses recycled materials. Visitors help themselves to a glass of the vino via button-operated taps and can also purchase bottles from an adjacent gift shop. The wine is sourced from the winery’s vineyard, which sits in central Italy’s Abruzzo region, known for its Montepulciano grapes. The winery says it’s not the first wine fountain to be found in Europe—there are some on Spain’s famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route, for example—but it is the first one to consistently dispense the tipple for free.
The fountain’s inaugural pour drew a large crowd of pilgrims and tourists to the village of Caldari di Ortona this weekend. In the future, Dora Sarchese plans to add more wine fountains in other towns along the trail.