One of the things I look forward to all year long is the Vendemmia at our Tuscan farm, Podere Erica. And I am not the only one!  In Tuscany the month of September is devoted to the precious Grape.  In a region where this crop is of such importance, it is only natural that there are many events celebrating the grape and grape harvest (vendemmia).  You can find events in Greve, Rufina, Panzano and Impruneta.  Click here to find out more.

This year there was a lot to celebrate. The weather cooperated to produce a fantastic crop.  Take a look at the grape cluster below – lusciously full.  And there were so many that you could stand in one spot and practically fill a container.  We picked 15,000 pounds of grapes that sunny morning in September.

Just Picked Grapes at Podere Erica  Sangiovese Grapes at Podere Erica

The picking crew included our friends who live in Florence, family from Calabria, and friends who traveled from Barcelona. Even I got out of the kitchen long enough to pick some grapes!

A family affair picking grapes at Podere Erica

This year, our winemaker, Marco, suggested that we try something new. Well, actually, something very old – stomping the grapes with our feet!  This was done with a small portion of the grapes that were then put in a big terracotta jar (orcio) for fermentation and aging – just like the Ancient Romans!

Marco and Margherita Stomp Grapes at Podere Erica Grapes Ready to be Stomped and put in Terra Cotta Orcio for Fermentation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stomping Grapes at Podere Erica in Chianti

A little traditional music got the dancing started! Everyone got into the traditional Calabrese dance called Tarantella.

Dancing_large

A big harvest meal is the perfect way to wrap up a long day of picking. This year’s meal included all of our favorites – a generous antipasti selection of local cheeses and charcuterie, schiacciata bread, and crostini Toscani.  With a great fire in our ancient wood-burning oven we roasted Arista or roasted pork, potatoes with sausage made by the local butcher, carrots & fennel, and classic Tuscan white beans.   And, of course, we complemented our feast with our Sangiovese wine, Il Picchio.  Click on the titles below to get the yummy recipes!

Vendemmia Feast Harvest Feast at Podere Erica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tutti a Tavola at Podere Erica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And we end this most wonderful day with a simply spectacular autumn sunset!

Tuscan Sunset at Podere Erica

 

 

Crostini Toscani – Chicken Liver Pate on Small Toasts

Crostini con Fagioli – White Beans on Small Toasts

Arista con Patate Arrosto –  Roast Pork with Roasted Potatoes

4 Comments

  1. Jan,
    WOW!!! What a great blog!!! I can’t wait to read your postings. Maybe I can convince John to go next year!! The food, festivities, grape picking all look like so much fun. You and Neal definitely know how to throw a soiree!!

    Dana Naquin

  2. Jan,
    I loved it. It brought back memories of trips to Tuscany and Umbria and even a hike along the southern coast and into the hills. Never experienced harvest and crush in Italy but boy the grapes looked luscious! It’s hard work but I enjoyed seeing the happy faces of satisfaction. The food sounded great too. Thanks for sharing!
    Caryl

  3. Jan,
    I loved it. It brought back memories of trips to Tuscany and Umbria and even a hike along the southern coast and into the hills. Never experienced harvest and crush in Italy but boy the grapes looked luscious! It’s hard work but I enjoyed seeing the happy faces of satisfaction. The food sounded great too. Thanks for sharing!
    Caryl

    • Thanks for sharing your Italian experiences. It’s a pretty unforgettable place. Let me know if you have a chance to try some of the recipes. Ciao, jan

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