Sunday, November 04, 2007


4 november
Welcome to the 100th post of "The New Life of Dwight". You may be my 3000th visitor, chissa?!
Thanks to all who are nice enough to follow along with my adventure. I would like to explain this is not meant to be a constant advertisement for Nascondigio, nor is it eavesdropping or spying on me ( i have heard both). It is just a way for me to log my daily fun and games here and keep my friends up to date on my italian doings. So read guilt free and please don't hesitate to add comments as this is an open blog.. google may ask for a sign-in but it is free and the cookie really tastes great!
Bacco is improving a bit and getting longer and hungrier. After our 1st car ride from Siena in which he spent 3 hours on my lap, he is a real trooper in the car and sleeps all the way.
I am listening to the Who, Peter Frampton, etc as I write this, flashback to the 70's!
Happy Birthday yesterday to my dad who would have been 80 and also interestingly enough, Raffaele's dad had his compleanno yesterday, as well.
Thursday, we have a big meeting with our new agronomists and our enologist at Matellica, up in the northern part of the Marche to finalize the grape clone and rootstock choices and plan our planting (?november or january?). After that, we can breathe easier having finished that prospettivo and get on to planning the swimming pool. I envision a pool with a fairly simple design about 7X15 meters with a border of travertine (the building material used in all the edifices in Ascoli Piceno)
Also, we need to plan a bit for future trees and flowering plants. I would like to add a persimmon and pomegranate tree or 2 of each and maybe reposition some of the flowers into a more compact pattern.
I have returned from a successful olive picking journey in Umbria with a delightful group of folks. We picked olives from 4 different types of olive trees, the most interesting being the weaping frantoio (frantoio being the variety which has branches like a weaping willow). I returned before the actual pressing, so will have to wait for a while to try the Umbrian oil. I actually prefer the olive oils of Umbria and Tuscany as they are the right mix of fruitiness, bitterness and spiciness. For me, the oils of the north lack the last 2 and the Sicilian oils are usually too piccante, although I have tried one from Sicily which i found in Milano and it is still perhaps my favorite of all time.. Thanks to Sabrina, Daga, Antonio, Silvia, Valeria and Chicchi the dog for the hospitality. As you have heard me say before, olive picking is much more relaxing than grape harvesting and of course there is the excuse to climb trees and be young at heart while doing something productive.
The pictures show the many uses of Montepulciano grapes that seem to tirelessly continue to mature even after 4 previous pickings and as i don't like to waste any good grapes, here you see I have hand crushed them and made grape juice, then a grape cake with grape filling and grape icing and a grape ice cream. On my way to Umbria, I had a little rest stop to wait for the local shepherd and his flock to cross the road. Also you see my hosts in Umbria with Bacco and their dog getting acquainted, then Chicchi and Bacco with the latter wanting to play, and finally, the implement, similar to a comb, used to gently pull the olives off the branches. We didn't have either the nets or the combs for our harvest adding a fair amount of labor and time, for sure.
Again thanks for following along, I get a big kick out of writing and it is a good way for me to remember when we picked grapes, olives, pressed, fermented, etc. And these will be the notes for my book of course!
Ciao and buona domenica!

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