orWine Tastings in the Comfort of you own villa or B&B while on holiday in Tuscany or Liguria

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Friday, 3 October 2008


Well autumn definitely has arrived. The last few days it has been raining and it has got a lot cooler. So time for autumn jobs, the ‘vendemmia’, the grape harvest. Well, in actual fact, we hardly got anything off our vines at Villa. They succumbed to fungal attacks. As they hadn’t been looked after for a couple of years and I hadn’t quite pruned them to their final form yet, they obviously needed a greater attack of anti-fungal spray to become productive again. So to make the meager harvest worth while, we bought some 90 kg of Montepulciano grapes so we could test out the new winery equipment. Well when I say new, it’s new to us, but I have seen bits like these in a museum…

The hardest part of the job is the cleaning of the equipment.

Next the grapes go through the crusher. Montepulciano grapes have quite a dark juice already, so it is not necessary to leave the skins on the must for long, i.e. in our case we left them on for a couple of hours. We tested the potential alcohol content and it showed a massive 15% AbV! That’ll keep us happy…

Finally the whole thing is put through the press to squeeze out the juice. We got about 60 litres of must. Now it goes into large demijohns to ferment. Hopefully it’ll turn out fine, I’ll keep you posted.

Other than that it was Susan’s birthday, which meant she got a bit of cash through the post and relieving our crisis. We spent the rainy days stocking up on some storable basics and even better, there was a closing down sale at a nearby electrical store and we managed to pick up a cheap freezer, which we went and filled up with several goodies immediately, special offers meats and fish, as well as home-made pesto. Also made some of my special tomato chutney yesterday. On Saturday was the last of the outdoor parties in the village. Mauro had invited the neighbourhood as well as the members of his band for an afternoon of music and food in his back garden. Towards the evening it was getting decidedly chilly though.

The sun appears to have made a re-appearance this afternoon and, if it stays like this we shall plough over a terrace or two in the next couple of days and plant broad beans and peas. Also on the schedule for the next week or so is cider making with the same equipment we made wine with today.

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