A wonderful autumn’s day: high cumulus clouds against a china-blue sky, strong yellow light, breezy, almost windy, some grey hills seen from afar. Up at 5.30 a.m. to press the Friulano and Riesling grapes- A risible quantity but better to start - and finish - early instead of being closed in the wine-cellar all day.
After lunch Luca expressed doubts that yesterday’s lamb was drinking. Last evening I had already expressed the ewe’s milk but neither of us had seen the lamb at the teat. Without the first milk a new-borne weakens rapidly and certainly dies so re-milked the ewe and put the lamb on the teat. The lamb with a very weak suckling instinct but seems to have got the hang of it now.
A local farmer dropped by. Told us that he had butchered a pony that we had sold him on the -perhaps hopeful - understanding that he would keep her as a house animal. Said that feeding her had got too expensive. We know that farming and agriculture is like this - animals are food. Cursed that equine meat is valued in Italy and hoped that she had not suffered.
Last Monday we began the grape harvest. The last guests in the bungalows will leave during this coming week and La Faula will take-on the atmosphere of a ’real’ wine-farm again. The transition from Agriturismo to grape harvesting and wine-making is so sudden and abrupt that sometimes it leaves one feeling a bit disjointed!
This year we decided to close the Agriturismo from the time of the grape harvest both to let us focus on the farming side of our business and because we have to begin a maintenance and up-grade program in the house which becomes impossible when there are guests. We have realised that we will probably continue like this in the future dedicating distinct time to each activity - tourism / grape-growing and wine making rather than having them overlap.