In the past you would have woken up at the rooster crow, now you’ll just buzz your smartphone to open your eyes to a new day. But now as at that time, your destination these days of September is only one: the Vineyard and the grape harvest. You have decided, and you get up. In the street the sun comes out from behind the cypress trees, the air is crisp, the greetings of grape harvest companions are cheerful and sleepy. The grape harvest is very impressive but tiring.
Then, let’s go: it’s time to collect the white grape! First you have to go to the master of the vineyard, and you have to get to the “canestro”, the basket, the typical agricultural container once made of willow, plastic today, you’ll have to fill it with bunches not more than 5 kilos to not crush the grapes. And now down in the row, with the basket, gloves and shears. To make a good grape harvest you must be delicate, to tighten the grapes without damaging them; but you must also be strong to cut them neatly from the branch without shaking it too much not to drop to the ground precious ripe grapes. Holding in your hands the heavy gold and green grapes is an emotion: how possibly can a plant so small and crooked plant produce these wonderful grapes, heavy fruit full of aromatic and sugary substances? Take your time to look at what you hold in your hands: the grapes may be those of Trebbiano which is the most widespread white grape variety of the Tuscan countryside, or you could harvest the Malvasia Bianca, both are present in many white wines and in the past also in Chianti red wine. The Trebbiano grapes are rounder, those of Malvasia are more oblong. Now look around you: there are other people who, in the same row and in parallel ones, cut and gather the bunches like you, in the air there is a good pace, someone sings, others chat: in fact, you collect by yourself but the gesture is shared, an event which, on closer inspection, joins thousands of people at this time and throughout Tuscany vineyards.
But we are talking about small and wonderful family, run, boutique wineries where the production is limited and where the harvest is still done by hand.
In large wineries, the harvest is charmless as it is done automatically by large machines that passing between the rows absorb everything they find, even small animals sometimes …
Here in the evening, after you drive back and forth dozens of baskets full, you will be quite happy that everything has an end! And when the mounds of white grapes, which will seem gold in the sunset, will take the road to wineries in the tractors, it will be natural for you to live with satisfaction the present moment.