Last Bottle of my Own Vino Rosso

A sad day today as we are tonight to drink the last bottle of my own wine and will have to start buying wine until November . Those warm days seem a long way off though today is 15C with some high cloud.

final bottle


I photographed it today in the conservatory to remember my first vintage . This will have to be on the music system as we drink it. Sing along :

You might be interested in the making of the wine which followed the simple process that the Pugliese have followed for hundreds of years.

First we harvested the grapes, on a beautiful September morning at 6.20 a.m. making sure they were dew free. The grapes were all negroamaro, a variety of grape thought to have been brought to Puglia in the 7th century B.C. by Greek colonists.

grapes harvested


Trundled back in this old truck and crushed them using this machine borrowed from Cosimo the outside oven builder ( he drinks in the bar)

crush the grapes


Then you cover them and leave them for 5 days. Now down here in this part of Puglia we use no sulphates to kill the natural yeast nor do we add any yeast. We let the yeast the grapes have picked up from the ground do the work. You cannot get more natural than that as the grapes were sourced from Arcangelo my plumber’s father so we knew that nothing had been sprayed on them either. Organic to the core .

The only thing to do was to break the must that forms every day. I got that rather smelly job everyday somehow !

press the must


We checked the brix a couple of times and actually after 8 days we pressed the wine

press the wine


Then stored it in demijohns ( damigiane ) for 10 weeks

store it


During that 10 weeks you run around trying to find as many empty wine bottles as you can plus the ones you have saved through the year ready for bottling which takes place traditionally around the feast of San Martino in early November. We bottled about  120 bottles as my share in the syndicate was 100 litres less wastage and we have worked our way through them . Because there are almost no  sulphates ( all grapes have natural sulphate ) the wine will not last as sulphate is a preserver in commercial production. So you have to get it down your throat normally by Easter. we beat that target by a couple of weeks !!



About hereinpuglia

Retired to Puglia after some 40 years in the travel industry working for P&O Lines, British Airways, Alamo rent-a-car,Abercrombie&Kent, owner of Quest Tours and Travel and finally with Thomas Cook North America. Married to Geraldine we now have a small house with too much land near the town of Martina Franca in Puglia. Two kids one married and living in Hong Kong and the other single and living in London. No dogs, no cats no animals.
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