Harvest Time, A Yearly Ritual

Grapes CU SquareFive years ago I revived an old vineyard that my uncle had abandoned.  Yearly, in this little vineyard in the countryside, I have had learned the lessons of a viticulturist and have had the pleasure of awakening all of my senses.  I have about 200 screws, and I produce 400 liters of organic wines for myself and my friends.

For people, who like me love the world of wine, the weeks of October are full of excitement.  All the senses are unleashed, as if we were hit by a “hormonal storm.”  The work of a whole year caring for the vine, are now followed by the work of years in the cellar to take care of the wine.

The blend, the crushing, de-stemming, fermentation.

In these moments, the winery makes scents.  During the pumping of the must, the vinous spreads over a radius of hundreds of meters, leaving passersby a “tuneful” of joy and celebration.

The sugar is transformed into alcohol, after “the bubbling vats”, the liquid begins to take on texture, flavor, color and odor.  But, everything is not wine… yet.  We are still at the beginning of creation.  Fulling, racking, pressing.

The liquid is now absent of sugar because the yeasts have done their work, but the juice must wait for the malolactic fermentation, if it is not to be avoided, with the temperature control.

The love of vineyard, the wisdom of the winemaker, the modern day equipment, the quality of the products used are the ideal components to achieve an excellent result.  After some decanting, arranged in the days of good moon, in spring, the wine is ready to drink.

Important wines, however, are left to mature in wooden barrels (small or large), to hire those tertiary aromas that characterize the wines of structure, before being bottled and then wisely tasted.  They can also be decades before the wine reaches ripeness to be enjoyed.  It may take a hundred years, and the wine will still be there, waiting to give to the lucky tasters lovely emotion.

When the timing of harvesting is perfected it can truly be the beginning of an amazing sensory experience. Whether you drink a current vintage or let it age for future consumption, always remember this yearly ritual and the artist behind the wine.