Harvest is officially underway in Salento.
Those are Negroamaro grapes that winemaker Gianni has already picked for his classic method wine, Rohesia Brut (which is sadly not available in the U.S.).
Grapes that will become sparkling wine are always among the first picked. They are actually harvested slightly underripe because the extra acidity is needed for the winemaking process.
Negroamaro for the still wines will be among the last grapes he will pick.
The other sign that harvest has begun is that Gianni published the below photo of his mother’s eggplant alla parmigiana — or what was left of it after he inhaled it.
Every year, his mother makes him this dish “to give him strength” for harvest.
In the photo, you can see him sopping up every last bit of sauce with a piece of bread. That’s what they call scarpetta in Italian, a polishing of the dish as you would with your shoes (scarpa means shoe in Italian).