Long days and a few mechanical mishaps with harvest well underway

A note from winemaker Gianni Cantele:

chardonnay fermentation puglia italy

Above: Chardonnay 2013, tank 27. Fermentation is well underway. I wish I had an app that would allow you to experience the aroma! Happy summer vacation, everyone!

Ugh. Maybe I was too optimistic.

The first day of harvest went fine. Then there was a whole series of minor mechanical mishaps. I’ve never seen something like this where everything went wrong at the same moment.

But man can’t allow himself to be one-upped by machines, especially when all it takes to fix things is a little bit of elbow-grease and a big hammer.

We have some long days ahead of us. We get up at dawn to coordinate our work in the vineyards with our agronomist Cataldo Ferrari. Then we rush to the cellar to check up on the must from the day before. We keep it chilled for 12 hours and we need to make sure that it remains clear until the right moment. We also need to make sure that the presses are prepped for new grapes and that the refrigerator repairman is willing to interrupt his summer vacation to come fix a refirgerator that’s on the fritz.

Man, why oh why does everyone in Italy have to take their vacation in August!!!???

From this point onward, I’ll have to deal with the delicate magic of fermentation and the anxious waiting for the shy bubbles to appear on the surface of the must.

Then we’ll stand by and watch as billions of Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells begin to attack the must. That’s when that extraordinary, unique aroma invades the cellar. Have you ever smelled it? It’s a pity if you haven’t. And if you want to, you know where to find me!

Stay tuned…

One thought on “Long days and a few mechanical mishaps with harvest well underway

  1. Pingback: Life as a winemaker sure ain’t easy | Do Bianchi

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