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Harvest grapes singing?


This is what once happened in our vineyards, when the grape harvest was mainly carried out at the family level, with the sole involvement of relatives and friends.

At that time, along the vineyard rows, while the bunches were cut from the branches and placed in containers, people sang.

Songs of various kinds were sung, which accompanied the collective work and helped to bear the fatigue, because each one felt in the other's song the sharing of the effort and the empathy that consoles...

But there was also something else in the song of the vinedressers. Indeed, much more.

In it the empathetic sharing of the effort was expressed, of course, but joy was expressed together: that joy that one feels when the fruits of the work are finally reaped - a work that began long before the harvest, with the various stages of growing of the vines, pruning, shrewdness to protect the fruitful cycle, etc.. Joy was the feeling that finally came to replace apprehension and inquetudine for adverse events that could have frustrated the work done, preventing the completion of the cycle that leads to bunch.

Today all this no longer happens. The songs do not accompany the collection (or it is rare to hear them).

Modernity has somewhat dulled the simple, even naive expressiveness of the past. The spontaneity of singing has become just a memory.


And yet, despite this, the harvest remains inextricably linked to the sense of celebration. It is wrapped in that same joy that once made singing.

You feel it, you see it.

When we harvest, and each of us evaluates the bunch we have in our hands, and cuts and puts it away, discarding any imperfect bunches (due to mold, due to anomaly in ripening and so on), we do not hide the satisfaction and lightness of mind, the joy that pervades us: there, at the time of harvest, the story begins which, after pressing, starts the vinification and finally leads to the wine… Another effort, yes, some concern still, of course, but a few steps away from the final result, whose presence is already felt…

The joyful emotionality characteristic of grape harvesting is always accompanied by rationality, i.e. by the careful, "scientific", so to speak, evaluation which underlies the many decisions to be taken to obtain the right harvest.

The harvest of the grapes, in fact, has a precise liturgy. We carry it out rigorously by hand and choose the moment to start operations carefully and in a diversified way.

In fact, each vine ripens at different times, and therefore the grapes must be harvested at different times. Not only that, but the exact moment, for each of the vines, depends on the wine one intends to make from it, that is, on the characteristics one wants to give it. In short, everything depends on the idea of wine to be made: if you want to obtain a wine rich in acids, as in the case of white wines and especially sparkling wines, the harvest must be anticipated to a variable extent; if, on the other hand, you intend to obtain a higher alcohol content, it must be delayed. A longer permanence of the grapes on the plant determines the decrease of the acidity and the increase of the sugar level (therefore higher alcohol value of the wine), and vice versa.

It will therefore be necessary to choose exactly when to start the operations, in order to precisely obtain the future result that one has in mind. The planning of the harvest time must take all of this into account, in a different way for each of the vines present in the vineyard.

However, the expected quality of the wine depends on many other precautions, to be applied during and immediately after the harvest. For example, the sorting and discarding of defective bunches is fundamental, which already begins when harvesting and, subsequently, is completed with a special selection phase before destemming (separation of the stalks from the grains) and crushing. Even the pressure with which the grapes are pressed will have its say.

Many precautions, therefore, and much work, but in the cheerful and festive atmosphere that surrounds the harvest - a decisive step towards the wine to come…

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