Sunday, July 11, 2010

July 11 already! Today's topics, why italians yell, la cimatura, peaches and cream with tassles, fig newtons, l'oidio e la peronospera (the mildews)

I am embarrassed to see that almost 2 weeks have passed since my last posting.  Here at Nascondiglio di Bacco, we are full and have the full time job in the vineyard as well, so time flies.  I did get to spend the 4th with 3 other americans, some Brits and germans and italians and we had a grand old time, but no fireworks.
The vines are growing to the sky which means it is time for a cutting called the cimatura which involves cutting the branches which have grown passed  their ability to support themselves and the fall into the middle of the row, thus blocking my vision when I pass with the tractor and also shading the grape bunches too much.  We asked our neighbor to do that for us with his new vertical multi-blade attachment for his tractor and now we look pretty neat and tidy except for the grass which has not been mown for a month because of a broken mower.  This is a fine example of why people yell at each other in Italy as the part was supposed to be available inside a week, but we are now at a month and no part.  Also, our neighborly vendor who asked for 6 months notice for our order for a trailer to cart our grapes behind the tractor which I duly gave in March looked clueless when I went in for the 10th time since March to ask him if he had started on it as we need it for the harvest.  After explaining how the price of steel had risen sharply since he quoted me the price, blah blah blah, I was able to use my old expertise at hollering also with him.
We had a very few grapes (not whole clusters) with the dangerous powdery mildew and the downy mildew has been under control, but is also present.  With the former, I had a bit of panic as I have been dutifully following a 7-10 day treatment program with our permitted copper and sulfur products and was disappointed despite my best efforts, I can't keep this troublesome maladies at bay.  Our agronomo came and held my hand and told me our vineyard looks marvelous and healthy and not to worry, so I can sleep well once again.
Above are some of our merlot grape clusters.
Our first figs ripened this week, so I made fig newtons for our guests.  MMMM, good, just have to be careful and not eat too many.  The next harvest will be the little yellow plums which someone told me has the name mirabelle in french,  so more jam needs to be made.
The winery is now shelled in on the bottom and the supports removed for its roof or the floor of the upstairs if you will.  Time for the electicians, plumbers and refrigerator guys to get to work.  We have a tight schedule!
At left we see the room for the barrels and at right, Raffaele with the engineer for the electrical plant in the fermenting area.
Finally, here are some pictures of my little corn field of which I am very proud.

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