Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The harvest and beginner wine making

22 Settembre

We have begun the harvest, with 1st dibs going to the Merlot on the 15 and 16th, then the Cabernet Franc on the 17th and finishing with the pecorino on the 20 and 21st.  We have approximately 3000 liters of the Merlot, 1500 of C.F. and with the purchase of some of our constructors Pecorino we have about 5000 liters of white wine.

Raffaele and I have help from some local youth and can harvest approximately 1.3 acres per day.  We have a Merlot one week old which is not half bad, a Cabernet Franc a bit tannic and difficult to ascertain right now as to its eventual characteristics.  The Pecorino has not started fermentation yet, but the juice was pretty nice.

Harvest days are long and we worked over 12 hours 2 days ago and 17 yesterday.  Tomorrow, we will harvest the Syrah grapes and then next week probably the Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot will be ready which will take up 3 full days, I imagine.

I had a great week, with the Thomases of KC and MA visiting followed by the Tanners and Wilcoxons from my old bible study group from Kansas City which met every Friday morning at 0600.  It was great to catch up with everyone and speak English or "American" as the Italians like to say.

The latter 2 couples helped us with the harvest and were rewarded with Bacco t shirts and olive oil as their payment.  They, in turn, brought me some goodies from the US like Garrett's caramel corn, which is seriously addicting and artery clogging as well as some puzzles for whenever winter comes to interrupt this work schedule.  They enjoyed stomping about 180 kg of grapes as well, so the tradition we started in 2007 lives on!  I hope everyone gets to try it sometime.  It was on Jan's bucket list, so she has succeeded in crossing that one off.

The pictures are a series of our winery construction photos from me breaking ground March 25 until September; our contruction workers were great and worked extremely hard to get us ready for the harvest, which as luck would have it came about 10 days later than usual this year.  Right now we have 4 of the tanks taking care of various wines with no. 5 arriving on the morrow.

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