SOME PHOTOS AND VIDEOS OF OUR ANNUAL FALL GRAPE HARVEST!
This year's Vendemmia kicked off on September 19th, picking the red grapes to be used for rosato (rosé) to start. We do this with a direct press, meaning the juice does not have contact with the skins (referred to as maceration)—this is the difference between producing rosato versus rosso (red). Following the rosato grapes, we harvested the white grapes for bianco (white), which we do allow some time to macerate with their skins. Finally, in the coming days, we'll harvest the remaining red grapes to make Spannocchia's vino rosso. Read on about our processes below the photos, and don't miss the chance to see Niccolò, our Farm Education Director, and some of the interns dancing in giant vats of grapes!
For the first time—at least in many, many years!—we are manually de-stemming the grapes using a special "net" built by one of our workers (as seen in video below), and then pressing the grapes using a method you may think only existed in the movies: with our feet (again, check out the videos!).*
Another old, but new-to-us, practice we are implementing this year is using only the wild yeasts that are naturally occurring on the grape skins for fermentation. To help this process along, we prepared a pied de cuve (like a sourdough starter, but for wine!) a few days before the full harvest, and then add it to the smashed grapes/juice to boost fermentation. The vibrant maroon liquid being poured into a vat in photos above is our pied de cuve.
In the photos you'll also notice some white grapes being hung on racks. These will dry out for three months, and then will be processed into passito, a sweet dessert wine. Also made, but not pictured: our own (non-alcoholic) grape juice!
We're very excited to be using these new (old) methods this year to bring an even more traditional, artisanal quality to our wine production, and we look forward to enjoying our wine together in the coming months! Cin cin!
*All feet used for smashing were washed in advance!