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Vendemmia Time!

Petroio, Italy


Vendemmia, Italian for grape harvest.

The vines are starting to turn hues of orange and red, and the grapes are juicy sweet. It's harvest time.

Two days before the harvest was to start we pulled out all the bins, baskets, tubs, and tubes and gave then a good rinsing. Grapes don't like dirt, or soap, so everything gets a good rinse as you put it away after the previous years harvest and again right before this years to insure things are as clean as possible.

The morning of the Vendemmia we had one last thing that needed rinsing, having decided to harvest a day earlier on account of the weather turning. The final thing to wash was the de-stimmer. The name says it all, this machine removes the grapes from the stalks smushing them a bit in the process and them shoots them into the tube you hopefully have aimed into the holding vats. Having quite a force behind it, if the tubes off for cleaning and you don't have a catch bucket over the hole you can shoot dried grape bits leftover from last years harvest quite a way into your nice freshly swept cellar. Blasting anyone in the way. Not that I'd know from experience or anything.... Sorry Paul.

Around noon we headed down to the vineyards to get started. Barbara and Ugo knew this years would be a small harvest thanks to the very dry spring and summer, what they hadn't really counted on was the local deer eating at least half of the grapes they did have this year. Normally they move the dog kennel down to the vineyard so Billy and Mary Moon can chase deer to their hearts content and protect the grapes. Alas that didn't happen this year and as a result there are some very very well fed deer in the area. I think the local poachers owe the Mariottie's a couple venison steaks and such for feeding the damn things.

Regardless of the small yield there were still grapes that needed picking and the whole gang pitched in. Ugo and Barbara of course, James and I, as well as Martine and Paul; another couple here helping who also hail from the land of Oz. Even the animals came to help.

Normally the white and red grapes would be harvested separately for white and red vintages but due to the small quantity this year Ugo and Barbara decided to combine them to make and old school Chianti wine.

Disclaimer, I really have no clue what I'm talking about here. Apparently, before “Winemakers” moved into the area Chianti was made by combining the red,Sangiovese,and white grapes, Malvasia. Doing this would still make a red wine, not a rose or blush, as its the skins of the red grapes that make a red wine red. These days Chianti is primarily just made with the Sangiovese grape.

Back to the harvest, after collecting grapes for a few hours it was time for a picnic lunch in the vineyard and a short rest before collecting the last of the grapes.

After all the grapes were picked the buckets were taken up to the cellar, where we ran them through the de-stimmer and the juice was pumped into the big holding vat where it eventually becomes wine.

There is of course more to that process of grape juice to wine but that's another blog.

Cheers mates ;)

ps To see all the harvest photos click the photos link then scroll to the bottom of the page and find the Vendemmia tag.




permalink written by  Slade's Elucidation on October 7, 2008 from Petroio, Italy
from the travel blog: Slade's Elucidation
tagged Tuscany, Trove and Vendemmia

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Yummmmmmmmm.... <3 <3 <3

permalink written by  Wes on October 8, 2008


That's rad.

Also, I think you guys need to record some video and put it up on Youtube. I told Wes the other day that I kinda miss your voices. :) Just say hi!

permalink written by  Moe on October 8, 2008


we actually have quite a bit, it just needs uploaded, and i refuse to take on editing video too :P

I'll poke James about it

<3 you guys!!

permalink written by  Amanda S on October 9, 2008


The pictures are gorgeous. What a fun time. We have grapes growing on our fence. When you get home can you turn them into wine? Whish I was there. Mom

permalink written by  marcette on October 12, 2008


hopefully they will ship you a bottle so you can taste your sweet creation!!!

super yummy 5000!

love you!

~s

permalink written by  summer on October 12, 2008


psst - that thing that almost happened a month ago (at work) actually happened today.

it feels like bastille day to me... i feel liberated from tyranny!

permalink written by  peaches on October 15, 2008

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