It has been a text book summer of hot days and cool nights after oceans of rain in Spring. It could have all gone horribly wrong had the Summer not been long, enabling us to bring in our precious crop now in October! This is where pure luck kicks in in the wine world, that is to say the weather. The rest is old fashioned graft. If there is one thing our lives back in London taught us, it was to work hard. Up at 5am and a working day which usually passed the childrens bedtimes.
It has actually been a few years since we harvested this late in the year. The Cabernets are still on the vine, would you believe, but the Sangiovese, the Syrah and the Petit Verdot are all safely in the Cantina. The Sangiovese, which makes 85% of the Monteregio, is currently in the middle of malolactic fermentation. It came in first on the 24th of September and was fresh and full of fruit. Next it will go into second year Oak. The Syrah, aka Sustinet IGT, is currently sitting on the “vinaccia” the skins, pips and pulp, which will give the Sustinet 2013 its extra complexity. Once we are done, it will go straight into new French 300l Oak barrels. The Cabernets which produce our 50/50 Docet will be picked early next week. Their skins are much thicker and can resist the recent rains Tuscany has seen. Now its hot again and any excess dilution of the fruit has drained away.
Anyway, its this time of year of harvest which gets me thinking about what we do in order to extract this elixir from the Italian red earth. The seeds we plant, metaphorically, when the earth is cold. I dreamt once many years ago of distilling the best of what I found in Italy and sharing it with others. I guess what we dream about comes true after all.