Tuesday, October 2, 2012

San Polino Harvest 2012 update . . .

2012 Vendemmia at San Polino from Katia

Well here we are again, four days into the harvest...incredible to think that another year has passed.

We’re a good team this year, all with our different roles:

Matt and Luigi (Gigi)
Luigi, my husband, noting the characteristics of the different grape batches, organising the selections and deciding into which of the big wood vats they should be put to best bring out their potential for the making of fine wines.

Matt and Avni
Alberto, our right-hand-man and close colleague, managing the work in the fields, the picking schedules, the crushing of the clusters, back and forth on the tractor, coming in with full to bursting boxes and leaving with freshly washed ones to lay out again along the vineyard rows.

Paolo, a great guy from Montalcino, and Matt, our young, lovely Californian helper, lifting the full boxes in and out of the tractor and gently dropping the grapes, cluster by cluster into the de-stemmer.

Bianca and Susanna with the others in the fields picking while teasing and joking.

Altin, Alberto’s younger brother, filling in wherever necessary, on the tractor, smiling and generally being merry.

Katia, myself, in the winery, connecting the pumps, washing down the vats, sitting on top of them as the grapes come in to see that the consistency is right and that the vats don’t overflow, pumping the new wines over morning and evening……..and, of course, making sure that no-one goes hungry…..

The harvest has been surprising this year. The grapes are extraordinarily good, considering the rough ride they have had. Earlier in the summer we had come to expect a difficult harvest due to the dry winter and terrific heat from early June into late August, but, thank god, or whoever, it rained at the end of August/early September and the grapes were saved along with us.

We’re going to make some very wonderful wines, with great colour and an alcohol that will range from 13.5 to 14.7, just right. Early days, but that’s our prognosis. Watch out for San Polino Brunello di Montalcino 2012!!!!

I have my first morning off (semi, as I’m being called back work). With my hands blackened by the colour  and tannins of the grapes I’m clacking away on my laptop at the kitchen table. I can hear the pump working in the winery under the living room. We still have 2.5 hectares (6 acres) to pick. We’ll start on the fields in front of the house this afternoon. I wish our kids were here, three of them plus a grandchild, but university terms unobligingly start before the harvest – a very inconsiderate decision on the part of the school authorities, don’t they know any better??

Paolo got his head stuck in a vat
The grapes in the vats will start to ferment in a day or two, we don’t add in shop bought ferments, just allow the natural yeasts on the clusters to do the job, which ultimately makes for a far more authentic San Polino terroir wine.

The vats will explode into action one by one, and we’ll be taking turns at night duty for the next ten days or so making sure the bubbling grapes are kept control.

Katia and Matt
Gigi (husband) bought me a small loudspeaker for my laptop so I’ll have my music and audiobooks….long and wonderful nights.

We are right bang in the middle of our 2012 harvest!!!!

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