Above: The workday begins at dawn for grape growers and winemakers.
As harvest in Italy begins, we are reminded by the harsh life of grape growers and winemakers.
Now, more than ever, the year’s work — and often the work of a lifetime, considering how long it takes for a vineyard to produce fine wine grapes — is on the line.
Their days begin at dawn and end long after the rest of us have finished dinner and settled in with our families for the night.
Up in the Veneto (northeastern Italy) grape grower and winemaker Luca Ferraro delivered a brutally honest post on the challenges he’s facing this year as he prepares for harvest (that’s a view from one of his vineyards above).
“After entire weeks of rain,” he writes (and I translate), “July has left us with problems of hydric stress.”
Down in the Salento peninsula (the southern tip of the heel of Italy’s boot), grape grower and winemaker Gianni Cantele’s harvest is already well underway. But a broken refrigerator and a repairman on vacation are just some of the problems he’s been having to deal with.
“Man, why oh why does everyone in Italy have to take their vacation in August!!!???” he writes in today’s dispatch.
I’ll continue to post updates from these and other wineries as they come up in the feed… Buona vendemmia! Happy harvest!