Grape Harvest 2011

Filippo's early harvesting

Last Sunday, September 28th, we had Grape Harvest 2011 at Ancora del Chianti.

This year Filippo decided to pick up the grape earlier than usual for 2 main reasons: first, grapes were ready earlier due to a very dry and sunny summer with hot wind in the last weeks of August that dried up the most of the grape; second we were afraid of rain, after almost 3 months of no rain this was a predictable risk. And heavy rain, tipycal in September can be a real disaster on mature grape and make it rotten in a few days…

"The good, the bad and the ugly"

The harvest started very early in the morning as the forecast announced rain starting in the afternoon. Filippo was already harvesting at 7,oo am in the morning with Spartaco’s help. As soon as friends and family arrived to join them in the field the buckets filled up quickly.

The number of kids partecipating to the harvest is increasing year by year: last arrived Filippo, 3 months. After a few hours of “hard” work in the fields kids started playing football, and little by little (lazy) adults joined.

By 1 pm harvest came to an end and grapes processed. Everybody was ready for lunch now. A huge table was prepared for 32 people together with our typical Tuscan meal: white beans and sausages!!

Last load for the "tractor"

Everybody enjoyed food, wine and company…but not for a long time….

Unfortunately the forecast was right: as soon as we started having lunch dark clouds approched and …. we had to rush eating and tiding up……before a heavy rain started. That’s why we have no pictures of the lunch: next time!!

More pictures on Flickr Page

Grape Harvest at Ancora

In early October we had our 2010 grape harvest. This is a big event at Ancora because this is the crucial moment when the hard work of one year must give the best result. Every year Filippo chooses a different date: he has to decide when the grape has enough sugar for becoming a good wine. Usually he used to eat and taste the grape and if it was sweet enough it was time for harvesting. But technology arrived at Ancora del Chianti in September when he was proud to show to the family a new tool: a spectometer. It is fabolous: you put it in a juice of a grape that you consider rapresentative of all the vineyard and it gives the approximate grade of the wine at the level of sugar that it can detect in the juice.

On harvest day we start early in the morning as soon as the soil is dry and there is no water in the grapes otherwise…..it will go in the wine! We start cutting the grapes and we collect them in big red buckets. Friends and family come from the city to help: from 2 y.o. up to 84 y.o. Then the grapes are delivered at the cellar where we have a machine for separating stalk from juice and put the juice in a steel barrel. The wine is done!!

Usually by lunch time most of the work on the field is done and an inviting  lunch is ready for everybody under the pergola. The menu is different every year but the is a must: beans and sausages with tomato sauce and sage. Nobody can resist!

Will you be with us next year? We are waiting for you!

More pictures on our Flickr Page