Grape harvest time

These days many wine estates start to call the workers for September-October when there will be the grape harvest. Many students in all Italian wine regions from Amarone to Valpolicella, from Collio to Barolo, from Montalcino to San Gimignano to Chianti, from the Greco di Tufo to the Cirò are called to this “great little choice”: instead of spending the last holiday days at the sea or in the mountains or around the world or, more simply, to rest, they can subscribe to a special harvesters list.

Here are some good reasons to become farmers for a few days. You are forced to get up early in the morning, so you can see the sun rise on the horizon and enjoy the pure and fresh air of early morning; in Italy there is the saying “il mattino ha l’oro in bocca”, that is “the early bird catches the worm” to say that what you do in the morning is always better than what you do during the rest of the day; you work outdoor near the vines, which are, like all plants, bearers of positive energy; then you probably have the opportunity to meet new people, and it often happens that someone, to pass the time, tell stories, which often have happened personally; other times, as tradition says, you competing to tell jokes or humorous anecdotes to make everyone laugh. Sometimes someone sings a famous song, even a patriotic one, and it is very impressive to hear songs rising from the rows. Then, following the signs you learn to recognize the various types of clusters according to the grape variety: one more elongated, another more “pyramidal”: Sangiovese and Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah, for example, and then cutting, lifting the cluster and storing it in baskets you learn to be strong but delicate, because that’s the way to properly treat grapes: energy in the cut and softness and attention in the laying down the cluster in the basket. Also, if you are curious, there will be expert harvesters who will explain you the age of the vineyard, its life cycle and then, last but not least, if one is fond of animals, make a good harvest also means cutting the clusters freeing them by spiders, wasps and butterflies that often found shelter or drinking on the grapes, so they do not remain imprisoned in the accumulation of clusters.

So if you are a student, with a small “technical” equipment that consists of a good straw hat to protect you from the sun and a good pair of shears, you can earn a bit ‘of money and some very special