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Grape Harvest


Starting from the Carmine Parish in Serrara, going down along the winding path guarded by two rows of houses, just at the roadside, you arrive suddenly at a plain surrounded by two small plots of land cultivated by old vine-dressers. The place is called 'IESCA' and the vineyard is part of the Terra Mia company, the largest concentration of land producing Pietratorcia wines. It has located to the east-west-south of the island, in the foothills of the island 500 meters above sea level. It has vines like Biancolella Forastera, full of grapes.

We were about fifteen with will to do and armed with pruning shears, plastic baskets, good will and a lot of inexperience. Franco, MEP and for some time entrepreneur, immediately explained: “the pine cones must be collected in the baskets of grapes and not thrown, not even a grape away because it would mean losing a drop of wine, let on the vines only 'rasciuoppoli', Franco explained.

Starting from the bottom of the soil by dragging out the baskets it is more easy to transport the harvest and transfer it to the cellars”. Each couple cultivates a row and, taking own pick to harvest more of the best mature blond grapes, puts aside those that would be super to pay in the nature our work.

At half past ten: snack break, more commonly called 'u'muzzicone. A salad, dry sausages, oven bread by Florio, which I had brought from Pilastri, house wine (what wine!).

At half past ten: snack break, more commonly called 'u'muzzicone. A salad, dry sausages, oven bread by Florio, which I had brought from Pilastri, house wine (what wine!) The restarting of the vintage was difficult because the place allowed only a healthy walk in nature. “Come on, we finish at 13 and only then we will tell you the surprise of the day”, the Franco’s proclamation didn’t take us by surprise, we knew the inventiveness of his diabolic mind, and it was the right spur to us to work (bank’s objectives and Productivity Bonus and come forth in his mind of ex-manager!). At one o'clock we had completed our work, just a patch of land remained to be picked , called 'u Sorice' which was cultivated by the whole group and settled in ten minutes. We gathered in the courtyard, we were very sweaty even though the weather was cool and the sun in Serrara was veiled by a thin layer of clouds that were increasingly intensified, and Franco informed us soon that the harvest had gone very well thanks to hot summer and the providential rains that made turgid the grapes. We harvested approximately twenty tons of grapes to wineries, having delivered 120 baskets of twenty pounds and our labor would result in about 50% or 60 % of wine because the local winemaker, Gino, preferred to produce wine in the first part of the wine pressing. “And the surprise?” said ladies showing to be intriguing and curious. Everyone in the car and at top speed towards Sorgeto for a healthy bath and lunch at the restaurant where, as tradition says, we eaten spaghetti with clams and chicken Cacciatore. Half an hour later we were with the ‘bottom’ in the water, in the true sense of the word. The sound of a Tofa (a seashell) informed us that dinner was served .We voraciously consumed everything and just after lunch we began to chat. Mimì, the restaurateur has made a single mistake: he served us grapes as fruit. Grape for us that smelled of must!

After four hours of bending for the grape harvest, the result was a bathroom that, contrary to what we thought, had consumed the last bit of energy remaining and the thought of those 300 steps with a lift to overcome, we needed only a good rest. At five o'clock we were ready and Franco did not lose the opportunity, at the time of farewell, said: “Dear friends I really appreciate your sense of duty, the dedication with which you have worked, the contempt of danger - someone had to harvest rows of vines on the edges of the hills - the cavalry men, and the availability of the Lord, in homage to the famous aphorism ‘utilia bis repetita iuvant’officially invites you to the harvest on next Saturday according to the way of 'Chignole' "... he had not finished when a chorus yelled ‘nooooo’. I, that like quotations in Latin, replied: “dear Franco ‘semel in anno licet insanire’ and we have committed today the 2011’s foolish act”...

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