Not a British pub unfortunately but today following the rain yesterday I popped down to the vineyard where I buy my grapes for wine making in September to see how things were.
To my untutored eye they looked good but quite quickly after I started to wander around Arcangelo the grower came down the path from his house next door.
he is 83 years old and still grows grapes as well as having 500 olive trees and a huge vegetable patch. Last year he made 750 litres of wine and also harvested and sold grapes to wannabe wine makers like me. He grows only Negroamaro grapes for red wine. He told me the rains were superb coming just at the right time and because it was light rain it was ideal for soaking into the soil. At the moment he has not pruned away the thick leaf foliage that covers the grapes. The sun is too hot and will burn the grapes turning them into raisins on the vine. In September we will take the leaves away for the last few weeks. They look good
Tucked away in their little hidey holes and in the main almost impossible to see. The only grapes visible were at the end of the rows of vines where the sun couldn’t reach them.
We adjourned to his large covered patio and sat in the shade with a cool breeze blowing through. His wife brought coffee and we talked about wine and I told him in broken Italian how my first year of wine making hadn’t gone too well. Drinkable but nothing special mainly because my partner in crime was busy doing other work and we were always late doing the necessary and therefore rushed. Mike he said you cannot just make wine, you must be ‘ appassionato ‘ about it . He is going to help me more this year as his wines last over two years in the bottle without using sulphur or additives and that is what I am keen to make as well. I too must become appassionato.
To prove it’s longevity we had a glass of his 2011 wine and he kindly gave me two bottles to try at home from his cantina under the house. There he had also hung his tomatoes that he will eat at Christmas.
As we again sat sipping the wine back on the patio he asked me why I lived in Italy. I looked out over his vineyard on a warm morning and pointed to the grapes , his vegetable patch with all the homegrown produce, the wine in our glasses and at us sitting together chatting as his wife started to prepare the fresh food for lunch and just smiled . Paradiso I said.