A few days ago I received a very cute email.
It told the story of a carpenter who, after a tiring day, returned home, paused by a little tree in his garden, and for a few moments touched the tips of the branches.
A friend who observed him asked him why he did this repeatedly.
The answer was that the problems to do with his work were not his family’s problems, so, before entering the house, each evening he attached them (symbolically) to the little tree.
“The lovely thing is…” said the carpenter smiling, “that the next morning when I pick them up again there don’t seem to be as many as I hung there the previous evening.”
Blog, direct conversation
We tell you what is happening in the vineyard and later, in the Cantina, but also... about daily life, people passing by, reflections, events.
It is also a space dedicated for conversations with you, our visitors. Follow along, give your comments and your opinions.
A few days ago I received a very cute email.
Our dear friend Maurizio has a flock of sheep of different breeds such as Bergamasco - Biellesi grazing on native grapes from the Fiemme Valley, that he leads to a high point in the mountain - a high peak of the Small Dolomites - during the holiday season he brings them down again to the valley at the time of year when most of the ewes are pregnant.
After being fleeced in less than a day by Gianmarco, the shearer from New Zealand - who travels the world to shear sheep wherever he can, with the speed and professionalism of someone who knows his job well - in these early days of November, they return to Pilcante, where they will stay until next summer. Marta, Anna and myself shared this unique and amusing experience. When they say “Don’t be a sheep” it is to dissuade you from joining others without being convinced, to join something just because the others are, to follow a group without asking yourself if you want to go in another direction.
To climb to Maso Michei, from the Ronchi area, one travels on a road totally immersed in green.
It is as if you are entering another world giving the impression of being embraced by the light of the woods that in this moment in time is blessed with striking colours and intense smells. You sense the smell of the earth, it’s humidity, the freshness, the smell of musk.
You just feel like stopping and breathing it in.
Working with the compost now that the harvest is finished, and in this place silence has returned, the life on the estate now focuses on monitoring the fermentation and preparing the vines for the long winter season. At the beginning of last year’s winter we prepared - as in the bio-dynamic manual - a compost.
The method is similar to that used in a kitchen when preparing a cake!! Just that the scale is a bit different! And the ingredients as well!!
Three metres wide by fifty metres length. Two enormous lengths. Ingredients: straw, dung and natural substances.
Between the grapes and the good weather it has been a very special harvest! For the Traminer gathered yesterday, and the Sauvignon gathered today, in the Cantina there is much work to do because the grapes gathered in the morning have been kept in the open all day to then be crushed at sunset. This is because the temperature of the grapes, when gathered early in the morning, is about 12° C; keeping them out during the warmer hours and crushing them only at the end of the day guarantees a stable temperature, thus we work with a fresh product avoiding unwanted fermentation.
With Sauvignon we close, toasting this 2009 harvest, that for the moment appears to be an excellent year.
Sauvignon and Traminer will remain a little longer in the sun: in fact we will begin the harvest on Monday 28th. But this morning there was something difficult to define, there was a strange silence in contrast to the last few days. Then it hit me...... the women were missing!!!
We were missing the chatter of the women who in the past few days had brought our rows of vines to life. It seems ironic, but women are extraordinary in every situation; even when there is much work to do they lift the tiredness of going up and down the rows by speaking about many things. They initiate all sorts of debates as they begin work at the top of the rows, finishing more or less by the evening with the “merenda” (snack time); they talk of their children, their daily life, of what’s happening in the world and ... they laugh... they are so energetic, direct, always ready to be a friend, willing to take on the most demanding tasks.
The Pinot Nero was gathered today which, as many know, needs special attention from when it is planted, when treated, when it is harvested and when it is produced.... and it is not always the case that all the hard work is repaid with an equivalent quality of grape...it depends... on how things turn....there are good years - like this one that has left us totally amazed by the quantity and beauty of the bunches which are so full and deeply coloured - like the first years when our hard work was rewarded by a fine quality of product.
Leaving aside personal interest, I like this grape, because it has character!!
Today, despite the cold and the rain of the past few days, the harvest of the Müller Thurgau has begun. When the moment for harvesting arrives, we in the vineyards breathe deeply, a moment of silence, of concentration...there is a kind of tension, a heartbeat, connected with a sense of pride for all of the hard work accomplished in the year.
The harvest is the natural epilogue to the work of many people, and they all find themselves together at this time rejoicing over the harvest and sharing this final phase of work which is the most enjoyable as well as the most rewarding.
This is the week that precedes the harvest. The work on the estate is concentrated on organising the Cantina and constant monitoring of the health of the grapes.
Actually we anticipated beginning the harvest this week, because up to a few days ago the temperatures at night were too high and the acidity the grapes began to show itself. But then the weather conditions changed, the night temperatures dropped, and with great joy, we were able to postpone the harvest by some days.
It has been an extraordinary day, after an evening of rain, today the sky is brilliant. There is the smell of summer - we don’t always feel it in the mountains - and the silence, that is normal for us, is perhaps embarrassing for somebody coming here for the first time.
During these last weeks, in the vineyard we have completed the trimming and pruning carried out according to the maturing of the various varieties of grape.
The foliage has been removed to reveal the clusters that were less exposed. Between the rows one sees multitudes of coloured butterflies of many varieties - and also some deer that arrive early in the morning eating the more mature grapes.