And harvest begins…

This September 5th harvest has started at Casa Pepe. We begun from Pecorino, the only north facing vineyard we have, the grape varietal that, being indigenous from the mountain, is the earliest to ripe.

Two hectares in rows, this years full of leaves and full of close bunches of the tiny crunchy berries. The season has started with a rhythmic alternation of warm sunlight and pouring rains during spring time: letting the water filter in the depth of the soil and the sun dry humidity in between the leaves right after. From mid May till mid June this was the swing.
We entered then in the classic Abruzzo summer, constant heat during the day refreshed at night by some Mountain wind. Still it was hot, as here we are used to, otherwise the old people say: it’s not a proper summer.

Only around mid August we got a two days intense rain, this was a proper breath for the plant, they got instantly greener, brighter and grapes got some consistency, finally. Nonno generally likes very much when this happens, when in the highest need of water and in the driest month, the water then arrives: that’s when the plant can benefit the most from that water. Who knows him well have heard him talking about his beloved mid July rainstorms.
Then hot again, so the sugars slowly went to the level and the acids were all there to make us decide. Last year, incredibly dry season, Pecorino was picked on August 26th. Sugars were higher, acidity at the same level as this year.
We harvested the grapes with a range, different from every batch we were bringing in, accordingly to the exposure of the part of vineyard we were picking, from north east to north west, from 19 to 21 Brix. This will allow us to make Pecorino with a lower alcohol level than last year, still high enough for a mountain grape grown in Torano Nuovo.

Crushed the crunchy berries from the thick skins, the colored juice went to ferment in concrete. Two days later spontaneous fermentation started.

Now the nights are cool again, dropping 12-15 degrees from day temperatures. We like to have this cold wind for the fermentations to cool down and to let the excursions help the final aromatic ripening of the Trebbiano and Montepulciano to be picked, and more updates on harvest to come…

La famiglia Pepe