Harvest 2016: the second week


We’re approaching the end of the second week of harvest here – Day 12, to be precise – and I can’t tell you how exhausting it is.

I fall asleep at 10pm and dream about tractors and trailers until 6am when the alarm goes off and it all starts over again.


The Turbiana vineyard – the highest vineyard in Soave and completely surrounded by woodland.

The morning routine is so comfortable now that I don’t even need an espresso to locate the same old trousers, trusty straw hat, water bottle and my forbici (secateurs.)

We’ve moved from the guyot-trained vineyards to the more traditional Veronese pergola. It’s gone from being absolutely back-breaking (I even googled “hunchback” at one point) to being an Ironman workout for the shoulders.

The last two weeks have been seriously hot: over 30°C every day. However, today the weather changed dramatically and a heavy thunderstorm meant that we’ve had to take a break from harvesting. I’m now making the most of this overdue “down-time” to get bash away at my computer keyboard in a futile attempt to whittle down my burdensome inbox.

It’s also an opportunity to reflect on the past three weeks. Culturally, linguistically, and also personally, I’ve learnt so much in this short time.

If you’re planning on moving to Italy and/or learning Italian, there are two really essential verbs that I hear all the time here but which I hadn’t seen in the textbook:

spostare: to move something. i.e.  we need to move the pallet – dobbiamo spostare questo bancale

=> spostarsi: to move (or relocate) yourself

buttare: to chuck or throw away. i.e. butta il grappolo – throw away the bunch

I’d always used gettare – because it is more similar to the French word jeter – but buttare is what I hear most commonly here.

There’s so much more that could be said but I’d better sign off this blog post and go back to the cellar to do the final rimontaggio (pump over) of the day.


Tasting wines just off the press. Photo to prove that not every wine tasting has a sexy or idyllic setting.



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