Autumn 2015

Another harvest is finished and this year the fall colors have been beautiful, better than the last few years. Truffles are few this year and very expensive. No rain in the summer for truffles. When good for grapes, bad for truffles and vice versa.




Harvest at Azienda Agricola Stra

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At Azienda Agricola Stra in Novello, the whole family gets involved in harvest. Rain is predicted so everyone is hurrying to bring in the grapes. Above is Roberto with son Paolo below.
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Even Nonna, grandmother, is working hard. We first tried their Langhe Nascetta at Cafe Novel in Novello, we loved it so we made a visit to taste the rest of their wines and we were not disappointed. Maresa and Roberto are perfect hosts with a beautiful winery and a small agriturismo with 4 apartments.
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Nebbiolo for Barolo and Barbaresco is why we are here, harvest time is always a fun reminder of that.
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This autumn has been especially cool and foggy, more like November weather. The leaves are starting to turn colours, we hope the rain and wind stay away so we can have some stunning fall colours this year.
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Harvest 2011

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Our friend Fabrizio from Francone (a local winery here in Neive) called last Tuesday to tell us they were harvesting chardonnay for their spumante (sparkling) wine this Thursday August 11th. Most grapes used in sparkling wines are picked before they are completely matured in order to have higher acidity, an important factor in guality sparkling wine production. Robert met up with the crew at 7:30am to photograph the journey that grapes take to start the process of becoming wine. The crew of eight, working in pairs of two, were able to pick all the grapes by 6:30pm in this vineyard of just under 2 acres ( .75 ha ).francone 2164
With clean harvest tubs the picking begins. Clean tubs are important because the grapes are not washed before pressing. Everything in the tubs gets pressed with the grapes.
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Fabrizio and his wife are careful not to look down the row as to be reminded of the back breaking job in front of them.

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Once full the tubs weigh about 55lb (25 kilos).
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When a row is completed the tubs are loaded onto a sled pulled by a tractor. here driven by Fabrizio's brother Marco.
The grapes are brought to the crush pad at the winery where they are loaded into a pump which sends them over to the press.
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After pressing, the grapes macerate for about 30 minutes, then the fresh juice without skins, pits and stalks is pumped to a large stainless steel tank to begin fermenting into wine.
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Before dinner all the tubs must be cleaned with this power washer.


The nebbiolo harvest is under way in Barolo and the weather has been

Theses nebbiolo grapes are waiting to be weighed and then it's off to the
De-stemmer & crusher. Destined for a bottle of Barbaresco in 3 years.

The last of many parties for the birthday girl at the E. Pira e Figli winery in
Barolo, its good to have friends who love Champagne as much as we
do (Pol Roger & Bollinger) thanks Bob & Chiara !!


The 2009 harvest is underway, the white's (Moscato,Chardannay,Arneis and
Favorita) are 90% finished. Producers are very happy with the 09 vintage.
Next up the red's (dolcetto,barbera,nebbiolo and many others.
This photo was taken from are kitchen balcony showing are neighbor Lorenzo loading

A small grower on his way to the public scale with his grapes

A sign of cooler weather on it's way, loading up our garage
with fire wood for the stuffa.

Crush at cantina Nada

Not every grape makes the cut as vicki from cantina NADA trims a few
grapes that will be left for the birds. Here in Barbaresco and Barolo
producers do most of there sorting table work in the vineyard

Family time at cantina Nada. From vine to plastic "mini" hoppers.

From the mini hoppers to a tractor mounted hopper.

From the hopper to a tractor pulled trailer.

From the trailer into the destemmer / crusher.

Enrico over seeing the crush. stems out the back. Skins,seeds,pulp
and juice into the hose to the fermentation tank then in no time at all
( almost 3 years ) Barbaresco at a wine shop near you.

Meeting new friends

Touring the cellar of NADA GIUSEPPE Robert is talking with Enrico Nada and
his girl friend Vicky. Enrico shares the wine making responsibilities with his
father Giuseppe.

Not many barriques here, they use mostly botte (large casks) as they are
a traditional producer.

A wonderful family run winery we've been driving and biking by for years
great to finally meet the family and check out the cantina.

A few magnums are set aside each year to be hand painted by Enrico's
sister Barbara.

You can be sure of a new friendship in the Langhe when mamma gives you
a jar of her homemade CUGNA'.

Chiaro (Leslie) helping out neigbors and friends, Vigin finish up there moscato
harvest before the rain arrives, her face doesn't show how tense the air is when
trying to beat the rain.


Harvest has begun here in the Barbaresco region, first up Moscato ( Lorenzo and Davide,
father and son picking Moscato) Next in line, Favorita, Chardonnay then Dolcetto.

Taken from our kitchen balcony these grapes are headed to Cinzano, a giant
producer just outside the town of Alba.

Enjoying some birthday bubbles with puppy Cotta at Profumodivino, a fabulous new
restaurant in Treiso (no web site yet will keep you posted)