Saturday, April 23, 2011

Buona Pasqua, Buona Pasquetta

23 Aprile

A couple of photos I took just south of us

The torrential rains of a month and a half ago eroded our neighbor's vineyard, such that he will have to move the vineyard back at least 10 meters.

A "pioneer' hike I took with Bacco through marshes and brambles, but found some cool things to shoot.

Mt. Vettore

The altopiano (plateau) of Castelluccio

It's hard work living at altitude

Happy Easter everyone!  Here in Italy, they celebrate Pasquetta as well which is Monday, so buy enough food for the long weekend as all the stores will be closed.
 I have been a whirling dervish the past 7 weeks trying to get everything in order so I can escape to the beautiful Stati Uniti, see some sights including a pretty girl, my family's newest additions--a grand niece and grand nephew, do taxes, and then fly off to see London with my old bud Fabio who will give me an organizer's tour of Realfood Festival there.
We have just finished the scacchiatura (removal of all the buds on the trunk of the vines below the wire) of the Pecorino, Incrocio Bruni 54 and Merlot, cleaned in between the vines with our blade attachment which broke on Thursday, repaired all the wires I have managed to break in various ways, and we are awaiting an analysis of the stability of the red wine blend we want to release in June to see if it needs to be "fined" for protein stability prior to bottling. 
I also "weed-ate" my own word invention an acre of olive trees as some of the grass was above my waist, painted the walls around the pool, got the yard ship shape and started packing.
I had a nice relaxing mountain drive last weekend, through the plateau of Caltelluccio, arriving at Fabbri where Italian Reflections fb group had a first get together of expats from most every english speaking country you can think of.  It was a great way to pass a Sunday.  I spent the first 2 years here thinking maybe there was only a pair of americans within 50 km, but gradually and more recently rapidly, I am finding more of us as well as a slew of English folks.  Every once in a while, I like practicing my lingua madre.
For Easter weekend we are pretty full, so today for the kids I made home made Nutella and then took half the batch and added powdered peanut butter,  Reese's Nutella.
The winery is going nowhere fast and I accused our construction worker of giving up work on our project for Lent.  I am hoping next week, he can get back to it when the wood panels for the garage arrive and the windows.  A typical italian experience follows: I asked the window guy how many days it would take to have them built and he said 10 days.  There were 3 witnesses.  I then said: "In Italy, 10 days means a month".  This was March 27th.  He assured me that for him, 10 days meant 10 days.  It is now April 23rd, monday is a holiday here and I haven't seen the windows.  Who was correct?
These are things you have to get used to here.  Unfortunately, the upper floor can't be finished without the windows sealing the place off.  I am hoping to see a big change when I get back May 7!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Finished with the tying, mowing and weedeating, wonderful italian bureaucracy

15 Aprile
What is wrong with this picture?  Find the answer mid left 

Going nowhere fast with the construction, but hopefully this week we will add windows, the rest of the railing and then finish up the inside tasting room.  We are trying to plan a grand opening, maybe late June with at least a Pecorino wine bottled if not the Montepulciano/Syrah blend.

Another view of what the engineer from Offida said was our "high-impact' winery, more of an impact than the neighboring solar panels.  As soon as he signs off on the construction and we have a license to open, I will let loose with some long pent-up vitriol.

All mowed and only broke one wire I think.

35,000 tied and ready to make grapes

I am loving the flowering plants of Spring

Great smells, helping out the local bee population as well.
So, that is my 2 weeks in pix.  Today, I started painting the wall surrounding the pool until I ran out of paint, then mowed the lawn for the 5th time.  This morning we prepared a red and white wine as listed above for bottling.  They will settle for a couple of weeks and then if the labels and names are ready, they can be bottled in a month or 6 weeks.  Afterwards, one needs about a month for the bottle shock to go away and then we can celebrate!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

A month of tying and cutting almost completed, Is it any wonder why I love this place?

6 Aprile
We are finishing up 180 or so rows of tying and cutting, what you might think would be perfect jobs for an ex-surgeon and indeed, it is not too difficult for me, just slow and hard on my hands.  This will be the last year we have to repeat this task as we are tying them a little longer and more appropriately this year and in subsequent years will maybe have to tie only 1% of the vines which were broken or too short this year.  I walked Bacco on a cloudy morning around our little piece of heaven and here are the photos I took showing our little area.  I hope you don't get tired of the same views, I certainly don't.
 Looking south over our neighbor's vineyard towards Abruzzo.
 Looking back at Nascondiglio di Bacco over the steadily growing wheat.

 A little farther yet showing almost our whole vineyard below the B&B.
View from the winery looking southeast at dusk.
Ok, I am off to tie some Syrah vines.  Stay tuned as we may put up some names for the wines and let you help us decide or feel free to send suggestions.  The first two we will bottle will be an un-oaked Pecorino and Montepulciano-Syrah blend.