22.09.2008 - 29.09.2008
The other day Pablo asked if we'd like to go along to a friend's farm and drink some of the "new" wine from the end of summer harvest. Sounded grand so off we trotted, well, I cycled and Kirstin went on the back of Pablo's scooter...
(Yep, she's off "C.H.I.P.S" - or maybe Cartman)
When we got to the farm, the truth behind the invitation became clear.... a LOT of grapes to be picked. We were handed a tub each and a pair of cutters and off we went! :-)
...For the impatient, I made a video montage!!...(Click on the image below to load the movie)
...it's actually quite theraputic. We picked for about an hour I guess, untill we had a tractor load full.
(Lovely Prosecco grapes, sprinkled with a touch of sugar)
After that it was a fun (downhill) cycle back to Gorgio's house where they put the grapes into a machine that basically smashes them up and separates the stems. Note: When people tell you about being careful not to bruise your wine by pouring it roughly, I'd take that with a pinch of salt! - Apart from the machine, I can't say I put the bunches of grapes into the tubs with much tenderness ;-)
That machine then pumps the juice into a giant "bucket" in a garage room..
Next step was to put some of the juice into a beaker and then drop a weight into it with a scale that gives you a reading. This tells you how much alcohol the prosecco will eventually have - in this case we got a reading of 16 which equated to about 10.5% proof. Not too shabby, though they always hope for more!
(Eagerly looking up on the chart what the alcohol level well be)
Gorgio makes the best wine in teh village apparently, though he's had less luck with his carrots...
... still, you can't be great at everything!
We had a taste of the juice, and well, it tasted like Prosecco without any alcohol or fizz. Nice enough though.
Once the whole procedure was completed, the Italian tradition of eating and drinking could commence!
... lots of home made wine, prosecco and sopresso meat. Gorgio also grows a mean French Cab Sov amongst others.
It was during the feasting I noticed an incredible collection of home made Grappa in the "wine room". With great enthusiasm, Gorgio started uncorking one made with Basil leaved. Delicious! I think he could tell I liked it, as he then poured me one made with things that look very similar to asparagus. Even nicer!
He opened every bottle! - about 10 different ones as far as I can remember - some with liquorice root, some with , well, some unidentifiable red berries - I think from holly. There was one I tried that was 50% proof! I nearly fell over. By this stage I couldn't tell the difference between any of them - I was getting just a little knobbled.
Gorgio even opened a 30 year old bottle for me to try. A great guy who clearly loves his work ;-)
Thanks to Gorgio and all his friends and family. We had a fantastic day - a real treat.