Vendemmia Begins, Harvesting Chardonnay Grapes

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We go to the Polidori vineyard in Umbertide to get our house red wine. One of the wonderful things about Italy is that you can go to most vineyards and buy wine in bulk. You bring along your own 5 liter container and you fill up like you would at a gas tank, only it's much cheaper and more fun. As soon as you get home, you put the wine into bottles, cork them and you're done. See, recycling can be fun.
Their basic red wine is actually quite delicious, it's fresh, lively in the glass and has a pleasant, peppery finish.
Last week vendemmia, or the harvest started, and Amerigo the owner of Polidori, invited us to come and take some photos. We were thrilled and honored to witness the event; it felt timeless, standing there in the field, knowing that this same event has gone on for millennium.
There are quite a lot of photos, and you will note my heavy use of technical phrases, like grape squisher machine, but I'm sure you move beyond the wine jargon.  Underneath the grape squisher machine Softpress23, there is a tray that catches the juice. Amerigo gave us little glasses of the juice to taste and it was frothy and fresh and delicious and still warm from the sun.
The grapes are unusually small this year because of the hot dry summer. Amerigo said his yield would be much smaller but he felt confident that the quality would be quite good. The juice will only stay in the first tank for 3 or 4 days before it is filtered and placed in the stainless steel vat for fermenting and aging. Polidori is an all natural, organic vineyard, so he relies completely on natural fermantation.

Let's keep our fingers crossed that the wind and rain and chill of the past few days won't harm the cabernet and merlot grapes that are about to be picked.
Look at the smiles on everybody's face. What is it about a vineyard that produces that feeling of happiness? That is except for the Serious Business lady who wanted no part of me or my camera!

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