Wine, Italy and the Friendship Exchange of a Lifetime

"And the Italians, when we told them that we have lots of wineries here in Oregon, they looked shocked. In fact, they said, really? You, you grow wine in the grapes in Oregon, you make wine."

A Podcast by Michelle Corradetti

Italian Past District Governor Nello Mari said that in order for this friendship exchange to happen, it was his idea that we work with new generations. In other words, young people that are not yet invested in Rotary. And he said, “I will agree to a friendship exchange. If you agree. to an exchange of assistant winemakers.”

So the idea of four assistant winemakers was born when Nello wanted to invest in young generations and young people that might not know about rotary, might not know about service, but use the umbrella of winemaking and viticulture, the study of winemaking and field management of the vineyards.

I got really excited about that. And the Italians, when we told them that we have lots of wineries here in Oregon, they looked shocked. In fact, they said, really? You, you grow wine in the grapes in Oregon, you make wine.

Their knowledge of, of American wine is Napa Valley. It’s California. And so it was new to them to think that Oregon would be a place that they might want to come.

Gary Plano
Past President Ashland Rotary Club

Wine, Italy and the Friendship Exchange of a Lifetime

My past co -chair, Ted Stevens, always dubbed Friendship Exchange as the best kept secret in Rotary. My main one -woman mission is to let every Rotarian know in District 5110 that they can be a part of a Friendship Exchange.

It takes nothing other than them wishing that they could go and they could take a partner, they could go by themselves. There’s just many options. Our goal is really to be open to everyone.

Camille Ronzio
Rotary Friendship Exchange

3 Responses

  1. Camille, having been deeply involved in Youth Exchange, Ambassadorial Scholar exchanges, and GSE exchanges I have long wanted to do a Friendship Exchange. In my club, at least in the years when I was most active, the “exchanges” were couples. I was told that was easier to match in the other host country. I really don’t know. As years have marched on there seem to be more single Rotarians. What is it like today?

  2. Holy cow, just listened. Absolutely beautiful to hear all of your voices and to relive this experience in a small way. So unbelievably lucky and proud to have been with you all for this trip! Genuinely couldn’t be happier to have a group like y’all to be with. Love the podcast.

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