Viva la Vedemmia !

If you wondered where the Lucca villa rental organic house wine came from, while you sipped it at La Collina del Sole , the most beautiful among Villas for rent in Tuscany… well it started in the vineyards surrounding this luxury villa which is the best among holiday villas in Lucca. During the autumn the Vendemmia occurs in the hilly region which surrounds villa rentals in Tuscany with beautifully rich soil, temperate winters with occasional snow, the odd shower and fantastic sunshine all summer, in fact the perfect weather when you rent a villa in Tuscany At La Collina del Sole the “pick of the bunch” when you rent a Villa in Tuscany we hand pick all the grapes that go into our wine,  we do not use large grape picking tractors, as the carefully tended terraced vineyard would be damaged, not to say ruined.

During the Vendemmia each bunch of healthy clean grapes or grappolo d’uva is handpicked and placed into buckets. To produce these bunches there needs to be the perfect combination of sunshine to render the grapes sweet, and rain to render them juicy, but not too much rain; otherwise the harvest is ruined. Hail rips the skin of the grapes and renders them useless; other unusual occurrences like a birds nest would also render that particular bunch hard to use !

The Vendemia is carried out when there has been enough rain to swell the grapes, and before too much water is ingested by the vine. The grapes are then taken in their buckets to a pressing machine. I am sure you will be pleased that the pressing of the grapes is no longer done by foot !

The wine press leaves the skins relatively undamaged while extracting all the juice, the skin is left to mature with the juice in the large vats. The combination bubbles away fermenting for around 10 days, when you put your ear to the large barrel you can hear the gentle sound of “boiling”. White grapes will produce white wine and dark grapes will produce red wine, this is due to the pigmentation in the grape skin. A highlight of the vendemmia is that after all the hard work of picking the grapes and juicing them  a celebration meal is enjoyed !

After aproximately 10 days the skins will have formed a crust and the “juice” is ready, then very importantly ONLY when the moon is waning is the juice transferred into 5 gallon glass demijohns or “svinare” . The skin crust is then used to make Grappa or homemade hooch, but La Collina del Sole does not do this, we use it as fertilizer.

The wine is left to settle for around a year, sediment within the wine demijohn settles, and so the wine needs to be transferred into a clean demijohn around 4 times over the few months it takes to mature. This transferring of the wine is always done when the moon is waning, as you can see it does not do to be in a hurry with wine making !  One interesting fact is that when the moon is waxing the fermenting wine augments and gently re-boils, so is best left alone to simmer !

When the wine is ready and the moon is waning, it is transferred into wine bottles, very gently and carefully, the bottles are then labelled and HEY PRESTO! You have your delicious La Collina del Sole wine !

Italians have had centuries to improve their techniques, and we have learnt not to interfere with the wisdom of our friends who know so much about the processes of wine making.  So next time you drink a lovely mouthful of organic house wine, think of all the love and care that has gone into it, SALUTE !