Notes From A Winery: WWOOF’ing In Italy.
(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.
(Picking the perfect bunch of Sangiovese.)
(A caseta of grapes. This weighs about 33 lbs!)
(Randy enjoying life on the farm.)
(The original 300 year old house on the vineyard.)
(The 200 yr old villa where we stay.)
(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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