Wow, long time since I've written. And quite a bit to cover. Unfortunetly when I was smart enough to write it all down in my journal this morning so I woulnd't forget what to write, I managed to put it neatly back in its place before I left the house rather than bring it with me. Ooops. I'll try from memory, but don't be surprised when the next post is stuff I missed in this one. :)
Let's start with Sunday night. Sunday night after updated with you all, I went with Antonio and his girlfriend Fredrica to a restaurant in Monteforte. It was about a 20 minute drive, but well worth it. When we pulled up the place I literally thought we were in someone's home driveway. When we got into restaurant we were the only three customers there. Then Antonio told me it was the owner's last night to be open because he was retiring and his son didn't want to follow in the family business. The owner of the restaurant was our host, our server, our entertainment, and I'm pretty sure he was back in teh kicthen helping his wife cook. But don't let all the fool you. This was a restaurnt of firt class style, right down to the tableside wine service. Fredrica chose (she also makes wine in a town close by the Fattori winery called Soave) an intresting red from Italy of which I can't remember the name of the varietal or the wine maker. It had the body of a medium style cabernet and had the fragrances of tabacco and darker red fruits. I have also noticed that people in Italy (all people, wine makers and non wine makers alike) still smell the cork when they open a bottle. I'm dying to ask what they believe they can tell from it, because I have a feeling it's along the same lines as the Screw cap/ non Screw cap arguement between those who make and love wine. Basically meaning that there are truths to both sides but every side is very passionate about their opinion. The owner was professional and funny, and his food was amazing. The first plate was a special cured pork with a cabbage salad. I ate my salad and let Antonion and Fredrica finish off the pork. Next came a pasta dish for me...it was delicious, until I was chewing on what I thought was a melted piece of cheese only to find out it was a piece of pancetta. I managed not to psych myself out and just put my silverware down ever so slowly and ate my side veggies. For dessert we had what they called a creme brulee. It did in fact have a carmelized topping on it but instead of the neat little white ramekin that I'm used to seeing them in it was really just in a rectangular pile on my plate. It was also flavored with anise and had a little bit of a curdled consistancey, never the less, I ate it all. :) After dessert of course came the coffee. After dinner we went down to San Bonifacio to what has to be the hangout of the town a gelatoria and bar (both coffe and alcohol). There was a 10 page menu of different gelato sundaes you could order. I went simple with a cup of varied berry gelato and a cookie on top. I was so increadbly stuffed after this night.
Monday morning I came to work and was so excited because I got to finaly get my hands dirty and help clean out steel poles that go inside the grape press. The poles fit inside the press and as they come down onto the grapes the skins of the grapes get stuck inside the many little holes leaving to fall down the pipeline only the grape mush and juice. One by one we helped pull the poles down from the press and laid them out on palates so that we could spray them down with colorine and then powerwash the grape skins out of the little holes. I had grapeskins in my hair and on my arms and my pants were wet from backspray from the powerwasher. I didn't mind, I was finally able to do something to help, rather than just stand and watch. But alas, all good things must come to an end and when I was about to help take the poles back to the press I was whisked away to the warehouse to put more collars on more bottles. After lunch, I got to put all the bottles I had collared into their boxes. But first we had to hotglue the boxes together on the bottle, then fill them with bottles, then put in the sepeartor (I'm a champ at that now), then close then up with more hot glue. THEN we stacked them all. Only to find out the next mornign we had stacked them in the wrong direction, so I got to restack them then wrap them in cellephane. I feel like if I see another one of those bottles, with those silly collars that won't stick together worth a poop, anytime soon...it may not be pretty.
Tuesday morning after getting the bottle palate restacked I went to watch Agusto as the farmers were bringing in grapes. Right now it is time to harvest the Pinot Grigio grapes. Augusto explained to me that these grapes are a bit too bulky for our equiptment and the sticks, leaves, and vines like to get stuck in the machine as they come through. So to fix this problem someone must stand down by the machine armed with a stick (basically a broken broom handle) and push the stuff through the pipe that sucks it up and drags it up around the building and into a large pile. To get a better understanding look at picture 14 of First days of Work album. This is above ground and where the farmers dump their grapes. This machine rotates and pushes the grapes through a pipe that leads below the ground where the rest of the machine is. The grapes on vines come out at picture 18 and go into the seperator which is picture 20. The seperartor spins and spits the grapes and skins into one pipe, the juice/must into picture 17 and the stems get sucked out around the back side of the buidling to picture 22. Did that make sense at all? Now you see why I wanted to actually SEE this process happening so I could clearly understand this process. Anywho since we were working with Pinot Grigio grapes I got to stand by the machine and help push the twigs through. I picked just a few stems and grapes out of my hair that evening.