The harvest is an art that is part of history, in fact it has been known since the times of the Ancient Romans, who in addition to planting vines wherever they conquered lands, kept the wine in the legendary terracotta amphorae, also to transport it, especially by sea, in throughout the extensive Roman Empire.
Behind the moment in which we taste a good glass of wine, there are years of hard work and experimentation, from the preparation of the lands and vine branches, from their distance, on which the quantity and above all the quality of the grapes depends, to the pruning, care and waiting, hoping for the leniency of the weather: sun but not too much, rain but not too much.
Then the essential and basic "moods" of the land, which give the grape its main characteristics depending on whether it is cultivated on the hills, volcanic, tuff, or reached by the air and the savory sea breeze.
It will be recognized and named that from that type of vine we will have that particular wine with that specific alcohol content, bouquet, and all those flavors that can be recognized by taste once tasted.
The grape harvest is art, because it is also celebration, joy, conviviality, participation and sharing, and today I am in the Regina Vineyards of the Pietrasanta Cellars in San Colombano al Lambro, just outside Milan, where a Friar of Irish origin, during his pilgrimage to Rome, stopped for planting, cultivating and teaching the cultivation of the vine.
Telling this story to the numerous guests, that the engaging host, Carlo Pietrasanta, owner and winemaker, as he likes to define himself, welcomes us for another "event" of the unmissable "Vigneti Aperti" event, organized by M.T.V.L. , the Lombardy Wine Tourism Movement, known and established throughout the Lombardy region, managed and organized in an impeccable way by the very kind Lucilla Ortani, who for over 20 years takes care, with great attention to detail, the direction of events, always Sold Out, related to the many excellent and famous quality Lombard wines!
We are in the hills between 45 and 120 meters above sea level, in the province of Milan, and with a wonderful view towards the South on the Piacentine hills, while the River Po flows below us. We are welcomed by Beatrice and Sofia, who in addition to giving us the shears to cut the bunches of grapes, also rightly measure us the fever; in fact, even being in the open air, the MTVL scrupulously follows all the Anti-Covid measures, and this makes everyone even happier, even if, once in the vineyard, everyone will have their own row and the distance is more than enough to enjoy a wonderful day among nature.
Needless to say the happiest are the children, who with the help of their parents cut the bunches of grapes, depositing them in the red baskets while the excellent host, continues the interesting story-telling, during the walk to reach one of the numerous Pietrasanta vineyards, up to a twenty-year experimental vineyard in collaboration with the Agricultural University of Milan of Pinot Nero, Croatina, Barbera, Merlot and the indigenous Verdea grapes.These are the grapes of the only WINE OF MILAN !!
Even the adults, and the various groups of friends, some who have come to celebrate a birthday in the vineyard, are intent on this fundamental passage of the Harvest, which is always a moment of joy, the bunch of grapes is touched with care, and to know that those grapes will become wine is a truly inexplicable feeling.
The red baskets are full between the rows, and it's time for lunch. We move to a natural terrace overlooking the vineyards, furnished with tables and umbrellas, someone has brought a large blanket or a plaid to sit on the green, the picnic bag, with three different choices of excellent local products is ready, as well as the corner for tasting the wines produced by the Cantine Pietrasanta and while the children are entertained by the animation, the adults have a pocket with a glass enjoy the good wine of San Colombano and the warm and unexpected October sun.
How beautiful is Italy!
The most awaited moment has arrived: the pressing of the grapes with the feet. The harvested grapes are placed in low wooden vats (tini) and the harvest begins.
First the children, with their incredulous and smiling faces and the ritual photos that will be printed as a label on a personalized bottle, and then the older "children", us adults.
I must say that it was a beautiful and unforgettable moment, the feeling of crushing the grapes with your feet, and seeing the wooden vat, being filled with grape "juice" that will become wine takes you immediately back in time, perhaps precisely in that period when the Romans harvested, as we did today in the unmissable and excellent "Open Vineyards" event that the Lombardy Wine Tourism Movement organized at the Pietrasanta Farm in San Colombano al Lambro.
Thus confirming that the Harvest is Art because it is a combination of history, joy, conviviality, nature and good wine.
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