I have always thought that the image of sipping red wine during an outdoor Sunday lunch in a dreamy Tuscan vineyard in Chianti filled with sun was kind of overrated.
I was wrong.
It turns out that even for an Italian like me – that has sat at plenty of outdoor tables, enjoying thousands of Sunday lunches and drinking litres of red/white wine (split over the course of those thousands of lunches, OF COURSE) – an experience on a Sunday 2 weeks ago was pretty amazing.
I attended a Wine Harvest Day at Fattoria Montefiridolfi in Chianti after reading about it through Travel Italian Style (that tailors small tours in some of the best regions throughout Italy for a true Italian Dolce Vita experience) and what I thought would have been a very intimate experience it turned out to be a truly deeply noisy Italian Sunday lunch, sitting next to absolute strangers all sharing the same passion for simple and tasty food, great wine, plenty of chat…basically…..Italy!
The event started at 10.30 AM (and since we take drinking very seriously, we were there at 10.20 AM…just in case!). While we waited for the others to join (over 60/70 people), we were invited to a small tasting area overlooking the vineyards to taste the Fattoria Montefiridolfi local wines (forget about the “tasting” measure though, since they are pretty generous here) and were given a good chat by Davide, explaining their products and giving a general overview of the area. That’s 10.30 AM and we kept drinking and chatting with the new arrivals for a good while.
Then we all remembered that we were there for the wine harvest (!) so we were all given a pair of clippers and happily walked through the paths down to the vines in the blazing sunshine. My fellow harvesters spread through the vines started to work. My British boyfriend says that in the end there was a lot of talk and little work 😉 but hey, we are in Italy after all no? Can’t really work without a good chat!
After that, since it was gone 12.30 AM and we hadn’t eaten YET, we (Italians) started to get a bit nervous. All very good this grape picking but we needed food, which came out soon afterwards and was simple, abundant and all home-made, and it went perfectly with the wine they offered.
The atmosphere was very informal, friendly and perfect for both families (I was amazed that not one single child cried during the whole day – and there were a few!!), couples and single alike.
For kids and adults alike, one of the best parts of the day was definitely the grape stomping. There is always a first time for everything in life and this was my first one. Quite a strange feeling the grapes in your toes….I would say a must-try 🙂 Plus, if you get to do that in good company and with a couple of glasses of their local white wine, that’s just a bonus! (that’s me with Patricia, fellow blogger)!
Just before leaving, Daniela, the young manager, told me that it was the first time they organized an event like that and they were a bit overwhelmed by the number of people that attended. To me, it was an absolute success and hopefully they will organize a merenda for the new oil harvest too, in November.
Where, I am sure, wine won’t be missing! 😉