The photos in this post were sent to me last week by a reader and Italian wine lover, Renzo Carmine, a dude from Tuscany who works selling commercial electrical equipment and visits wineries and vineyards as he travels around the country hawking his wares.
That’s Ligurian winemaker Walter de Battè (above), one of the owners of the Prima Terra winery, harvesting his “impossible” grapes on the unforgiving slopes of the Cinque Terre (Riomaggiore).
This photo gives a better idea of how difficult it is to harvest there.
You can see the village at the bottom of the hillside.
The vineyards in the photos are pergola bassa (low pergola)-trained and are planted to Bosco, Vermentino, and Albarola (and some other grape varieties as well).
And note the mechanized trolley they use (below) to ferry the grapes down to the sorting tables.
As in other parts of Italy, harvest was delayed by a cool spring and the recent rainfall that affected most of the country. Picking began 10-15 days later than in recent years, wrote Renzo, a datum that aligns with harvest reports from many other Italian appellations.
I like Walter’s wines a lot and am thrilled to post the photos here.
His winery and its landscape reclamation program are part of a bigger campaign led by the FAI (the Italian Foundation for the Environment).
One of my favorite Italian wine bloggers, Luciano Ferraro (wine editor for the Corriere della Sera), recently posted on their work to restore the natural landscape by reviving viticulture in the Cinque Terre.
Thanks again, Renzo, for sending the updates!
In other news…
Alessandro Bindocci posted this breathtaking photo on his blog last week to mark the end of the Brunello harvest at the Tenuta Il Poggione.
Predictions of an superlative harvest were dampened (excuse the pun) although not dissolved by rains that struck as they were picking the last rows.
Across Italy, grape growers have been disappointed by the rainfall that came just as many were still picking or were just about to pick red grapes.
Ale’s coming to Texas this week and I’ll be attending his seminar at the Houston Sommelier Association on Wednesday. I’ll be curious to see what he has to say about the 2013 harvest.