Friday, June 11, 2010

Getting from Here...To There

Here There

As we tie the last vines we hear our very secretive neighbor call out to us once again. She has been making herself known on our frequent visits, but refuses to show herself. Her call sounds an awful lot like “cu-cu”, begging us to repeat it back to her. This is the first time I think we’ve ever heard a real cuckoo before. I look around, but I can’t see her. I call her a “her” because she doesn’t appear to be doing a lot of work while we are there. Female cuckoos are a clever, lazy, lot and get other birds to make their nests, and even raise their young. They will go as far as eating the other eggs in the hosts’ nest that they choose. They spy on the nests’ occupants closely, and can often mimic their eggs in color and size. The foster parents are none the wiser, and lavish the young cuckoo with all the love and attention that they would offer their own. Where’s the satisfaction in that, I wonder.
But then, as the spring sun heats up, and we can barely work past noon anymore, and whatever unseen, unheard bugs that have found a take -out lunch on my neck bring my frustration level to boiling point, I entertain the thought, for a while, of hiring someone to do this work. I’m in a sea of grapevines, and I know that if I stop now and linger on that thought for too long, I might give into it, so I put one foot in front of the other, and go to the next vine. It becomes apparent to us that we will have to move: either closer to Solopaca, or build something on the property. We should be doing this work in the early morning and late evening, but we live too far away for that right now. No one works in the afternoons here except us; it’s just too hot.
We are beginning to know our vines, and they are beginning to respond in a way that kind of makes us proud. I can’t help making the comparison between parents and children. It is very similar to the pride that I feel towards my own children when they accomplish or do good things. We have put the time into parenting these vines, and they’re responding, just like we had hoped.

We venture into a part of the vineyard that we haven’t been to for a while. We tend to spend a lot more time on the first rows than we do the last. As I am the first on this day to venture into this area, I am also the first to feast my eyes on a wall of overgrown cherry trees. We’ve heard locals refer to our part of the town as “Ceraselle” meaning “little cherries” for the now wild cherry trees that grow up here. I look up and there is a wall of green with bursts of bright red cherries. I’m delighted and I call everyone over to see it . Our son Adam acts rather blasé but it is he who took these photos:

Ron, my husband, thinks this should be the business name for the vineyard. The cherries are my pat on the back today…they seem to have recognized our efforts all these days, and reach out with their beauty to our tired spirits, and make us feel like it is worthwhile.
Something the cuckoo bird will never know.

Tasting notes tonight are of a local wine from Benevento. This wine, though not from Solopaca is from a town higher up the mountain in Frasso Telesino. It is IGT because of the use of the garganega grape which is not a local grape but more widely used in the Veneto region in Soave and Gambellara.

Azienda Agricola De Fortuna
Falanghina Beneventano IGT
Finile 2009
Grapes: Falanghina and Garganega
ABV 12,5%
The wine is bright, crystal clear and straw yellow in color, and almost transparent but with a slight tinge of green on the rim. It is fairly viscous with fairly quick tears, medium in size.

The town where the grapes are grown, Frasso Telesino, is located at about 374m above sea level, and has greater fluctuations in day and night temperatures than Solopaca where we are located, so I’m expecting to find more exciting aromas in the wine: it is intense with sweet, spring flowers like jasmine, and fruit-filled of pear, citrus, and definitely some flinty mineral tones, some almond. The wine is fairly complex in its aromas and presents an elegant bouquet. This wine has made a very good first impression.
To the taste it is dry, leaves behind a warmth from the alcohol, but is nice and smooth. There is a light and pleasant freshness from the acidity which is well balanced against the smooth feel of the wine. There is a liveliness there, but also a very persistent minerally,
flinty aftertaste which I think comes from the Garganega. What a lovely combination in a wine.
It is of medium structure, well-balanced, fairly intense and persistent. It has good overall harmonious qualities, and an elegant finish. Complimenti Azienda De Fortuna! It's late, and I'm afraid, I opened the wine just to taste, so I haven't paired it with anything. It's length and persistence would have be believe that it could handle a little competition from the food: perhaps stronger tasting fish dishes, medium-aged cheeses.

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Luckyluke said...
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