The end of an error…Era?

Well, it has only been just over a month, but it feels like finishing my work in the vineyards and cellar at the end of July – because, you know, August in Italy – was an aeon ago…

The last week was spent underground, laying all the recently filled bottles on their sides.  When the wine is bottled, we stand them upright in the steel cages for a few days or a couple of weeks to allow the corks to expand again and settle into the necks of the bottles – each bottle and each cork is very slightly different, so some bedding-in time is prudent for the corks.

I had to do all of the above (and more besides…) by hand on my own.  It will come as no surprise to learn that it is not the most interesting work available to humanity, but, with some music going, once you start, you find your pace and get into a consistent rhythm.

I had to move them from vertical, like these…
…to horizontal. Like I say, not the most exciting pastime

After a while, the subterranean (homesick) blues kick-in, but you can always walk towards the light…

I can hear voices. Oh, it’s just the music helping me through the day…

The view wasn’t as nice as being out in the vineyards, but in compensation I got to work in 16°C, not 36°C, and had a much more pleasant sound in my ears than the constant revving of the strimmer.

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to work I go…

Prior to this, I had been in the vineyards, cutting back some of the more fecund growth on the vines and looking for any signs of peronospera (downy mildew), an outbreak of which had been reported in the area.  Hot it was, but I nevertheless enjoyed being outside, and got to see a little of nature…

Awight, Keef!

I spotted these interlopers – I’m not sure what they are, but they aren’t Nebbiolo…

Then, just like that…it was all over.

After that I had a couple of weeks at home trying to get some stuff done, intermittently watering my plants…

I’m hoping I’ve given the tree enough water for these to ripen properly

…and impulsively deciding to go to France for a week – there will be a blog about that to look out for soon…!

I’m hoping to be back picking some Barolo grapes, squashing them and getting very wet with the pressure washer in October!  Not least because the same team of travelling minstrels is returning to the Langhe, and I can’t miss an opportunity like that…