Postcards from Italy

La Vendemmia

As summer draws to a close, bringing shorter days and cooler nights, vineyards in the countryside from Piedmont to Puglia begin to buzz with the sound of rumbling tractors, chattering voices, and the clip of pruning shears.

Grapes ready for harvest

(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

Porto Palo, vendemmia sul mare di Cantine Settesoli

 (Photo by Fabio Ingrosso via Flickr Commons)

It’s vendemmia season, those precious few weeks spanning the end of summer and beginning of autumn when grapes are harvested and carted off to be destemmed and pressed and the delicate process of fermentation begins.

Manual Vendemmia

 (Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

Vendemmia - Tractor

 (Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

Time is of the essence, as a late hailstorm or early freeze can make the difference between an exceptional “annata” and swill fit only to dress salad. Everyone from lab-jacketed enologists from the most state-of-the-art wineries to coverall-bedecked contadini who age their wine in rough sheds keep one eye on the sky and the other on the grapes during the vendemmia.


 (Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

Sagrantino grapes drying in the sun

 (Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

If all goes well, the grapes will be safely gathered and made into softly bubbling must by the time the first frost touches the vines, and wine makers (and drinkers!) across Italy can breathe sigh of relief for the coming year.

DSC03817 _Snapseed

 (Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

Travel Specialists

Maria Landers

Brian Dore