Notes From A Winery: WWOOF’ing In Italy.

By Posted in - Big Trip & Featured Post & Italy & Volunteering & wwoofing on September 26th, 2010

Bedroom window at Fattoria Cerreto Libri.

(The view out our bedroom window.)

The sunlight streams through the brilliant green leaves. The grape you just plucked is the sweetest fruit you have ever tasted. Then you hear someone yell and mutter a few swears – they just cut themselves. You spend at least 30 minutes every evening trying to remove all the burrs from your clothing & hair. You give up – why bother? Tomorrow there will be more. Each afternoon you spend a luxurious two hour lunch of some of the freshest, finest & most delicious local food around. Every night you trade off cooking chores and finally around 8:30pm you sit down and eat in a 200 year old Tuscan kitchen with 8 of your newest friends. Eating always involves multiple bottles of wine and you know next year the new wwoofers will be partaking in the fruit of your labor. As the bottles start to empty they suddenly re-appear full after a quick run to the cellar. Afterward you all crawl into your wood beamed room and pass out, exhausted from the day. Nine hours later, you do it all again.

We’re wwoofing at a vineyard in Tuscany and it’s amazing! It is a tremendous amount of work because we are harvesting the grapes to make the wine and so we work a lot of hours trying to pluck all the grapes in time. It has been such a fantastic experience and we’ve met some amazing people. Although I would say the romantic notion of picking grapes in Tuscany is decidedly over, I know that we would do it again and I wish I could spend more time and move to another vineyard every couple of weeks to learn a different aspect of the wine making process. The plucking of the grapes is pretty grueling but the people, the food and the overall experience is nothing short of amazing. Here are just a couple quick pictures of life in the vineyard.

Grapevine in Tuscany, Italy.

(Picking the perfect bunch of Sangiovese.)

A caseta of sangiovese grapes in Fattoria Cerreto Libri's vineyard.

(A caseta of grapes. This weighs about 33 lbs!)

Randy Kalp eating grapes in a Tuscan vineyard.

(Randy enjoying life on the farm.)

(The original 300 year old house on the vineyard.)

A Tuscan Villa near Florence.

(The 200 yr old villa where we stay.)

Grape bunches on vines in Tuscany.(Sangiovese basking in the Tuscan sun.)

For more information on WWOOFing, check out our recent post: So You Want to WWOOF: 3 Tips to volunteering on your first organic farm

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(20) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Asa -

    September 26, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Incredible pictures, and the experience sounds amazing. We WWOOFed in New Zealand and loved it. Our original plan was to also WWOOF in Italy, but by the time we got to Europe we were out of time so didn’t get a chance. Your post is making us wish we’d made it more of a priority. Next time 😉
    .-= Asa´s last blog ..An Adirondack Adventure =-.

    • Bethany -

      October 9, 2010 at 5:17 pm

      It was so fantastic! Italy is such a great place to WWOOF. I would def. do it again!@Asa,

  • Keith -

    September 27, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Swoon. I have got to give WWOOFing a shot. Looks amazing!

    • Bethany -

      October 9, 2010 at 5:17 pm

      hi Keith,

      yes def. give a go! It was a lot of work but it was amazing! @Keith,

  • Diane -

    September 27, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    OMG! The pictures are awesome! What a great life experience!
    Love you both!

  • Eurotrip Tips -

    September 27, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    Looks like heaven on Earth. With alcohol. lol.

    Love your photos. And the architecture!

    • Bethany -

      October 9, 2010 at 5:18 pm

      Thank you for your comment! It really was absolutely perfect and yes, the endless wine doesn’t hurt!@Eurotrip Tips,

  • Amiee -

    September 29, 2010 at 6:41 am

    Ah sangiovese basking in the sun – does sound like heaven. I may be looking to you for WWOOFing suggestions very very soon 🙂

    • Bethany -

      October 9, 2010 at 5:19 pm

      Hi Amiee,

      I think you would love it! It was the best part of the trip thus far. We had a blast and everyone we met was awesome! @Amiee,

  • Brooke vs. the World -

    September 30, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Uhm… HEAVEN? Awesome, Beth, I am sooooo happy for you guys!!!! Amazing photos.

    • Bethany -

      October 9, 2010 at 5:20 pm

      Brooke, it was awesome. I definitely felt like I was traveling, we were meeting amazing people, eating fantastic food. Maybe we should do it together in Oz at another winery! Nice way to be super budget and have an amazing time! @Brooke vs. the World,

  • Leigh -

    October 1, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I’m amazed you have time to get a blog out. That actually looks like great fun, especially the wine drinking at the end of the day. Salute.

    • Bethany -

      October 9, 2010 at 5:21 pm

      Hi Leigh,
      It was great. I could go on and on about it. I think now it’s going to be hard to travel without wwoofing!@Leigh,

  • Italy Travel News 12/26/2010 | Italy Travel Guide -

    December 26, 2010 at 11:46 am

    […] WWOOFing in Italy […]

  • Mary -

    January 1, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Hey,

    I’m thinking about WWOOFing this summer in Italy, and this farm sounds amazing! What is its name/location – maybe the hosts can take another person!

    Thanks,
    Mary

  • Ben J. L -

    July 31, 2012 at 2:33 am

    I love lunchtime in Italy. Long lunches, fine wine and tantalising ham and cheese. Yummy.
    Your photo of the 200 year old villa looks fantastic

  • Bianca -

    July 13, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Hi. Where can I apply for these volunteering trips. I couldnt find any application sites for Italy on the WWOOF website. Thank you for the information! Best, Bianca

  • Leela Krishna -

    March 3, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Hey!,
    I am Leela Krishna, a student from India. I am presently pursing baccalauréat international (12th grade). I have been doing organic farming in a small scale at my academy where i study and i also worked in a French colony where i learnt organic farming. i am looking forward to taking a gap year in Europe and a part of that would be spending time in an vineyard.
    I wanted to know the available dates for volunteering and the costs which come along as I am a student and i have megre financial resources. I also wanted to know if accommodation will be provided and how if the meals/food is complimentary again as i don’t have too much money.

    Thank you,
    Lee