The season is now proceeding apace. The typical rhythm of summer has begun with my life dominated by breakfasts, pool maintenance and dinners. Blocked drains, re-adjusting the water pressure system, sending a bullock off to the butchers, making minor repairs, get fitted-in as best they can. The Agriturismo has a nice feeling. Friendly guests, stoic even in the face of changeable weather. Little rain but striking contrasts of hot, sunny then thunderstormy followed by clear then overcast. Each cycle so short that you can have 10 day's weather in one day! The sooner that famous high pressure area settles over the Azores bringing mediterranean weather to the Mediterranean the better.
Ruth the Austrian girl doing work experience is wonderful. Efficient and fast. Liked by the guests, Friendly, Couldn't be better. Too many nice evenings spent with guests under the pergola and too little sleep (but then there's always winter!)
Well that went OK. The Site was down for roughly one day while we transferred it over to a new server. Apart from being fundamental to our business our site is our window on the world. To have it disappear for a day was quite strange. It's hard to believe that there was a time - including the time when we started this business - when there were no web-sites. I remember doing my first Yahoo search on the work 'agriturismo'. There was only one in the whole of Italy. Even before that when I worked for a telecommunications company. Maybe it was 1992-93, I remember participating in a presentation on the Internet. On a tiny monitor I remember seeing the web using one of the first Netscape browsers. It was all so under-whelming it seemed very hard to believe that there was much future in it!!!
But now the web and our web-site is so convenient that I am (only-half) seriously considering removing our telephone numbers from the site and the guides. Communication using the web-site is so convenient for us. When I reply to messages I have the room's lay-out and availability at hand. I can calculate the prices accurately. When, however, I am called I am generally in the vineyard, or winery or cooking dinner and our booking situation is far from mind. For me the telephone seems like such an old-fashioned kind of thing. I wonder if it is necessary any more?
Returning to the transfer of the Site to a new server, this has liberated us from a limit on storage capacity that constrained us previously. In the next couple of days I will be loading a photo gallery for each room/apartment in the house. This should be a big time saver because a picture is worth a thousand words etc. Plus, it should give people thinking of coming to La Faula a more realistic idea of the accommodation.
Since I last wrote a lot has happened at La Faula. The days are hectic and the luxury of retiring to the computer in the evening and giving time to the web-site will have to await the proximate winter! But as I know by looking at the statistics that these musings do get read it is also a pleasure to find a moment to up-date on our lives and happenings!
We had some heartening and positive news on the wine front. If you read these entries around the end of last year you will recall that we rather suddenly realized that we had to depart from the strategy imposed (?) by our consulting wine-maker as we were risking making wines outside what the market wanted. In particular, under the tutelage of this particular consulting wine-maker we had followed a wine-making style involving heavy and long aging of white and red wines in oak. Not exactly the tipple you want to be drinking under the pergola on a hot Italian afternoon!
So, in December, in one swoop I removed all the white wines from oak and placed them in stainless steel vats. I also did the same to the reds that I felt had been in wood too long. I disposed of the oaken barrels in Slovenia and blended the whites according to year and type. We realized that a 2007 Sauvignon that I had made and which had passed only a very short time in oak had the makings of a very good wine. Light it isn't but fruity and flavorsome it is. After a light fining we submitted this wine along with a red wine - Refosco, a local variety - to the national Italian competition of organic wines. The results were slow in being placed on the web so our spirits dipped a bit as we assumed that we hadn't got anywhere. But then we received e-mails saying that the Sauvignon had won a Silver medal and the Refosco a distinction! It felt really good to have done so well in what is one of the world's largest wine producers. We were the only organic wines from Friuli Venezia Julia to have won any award. There is a big awards ceremony in Rome but we won't have time to go. It would be nice though. Maybe, if one day we win a gold!
NOTE: On 9-10 June this web-site will be transferring to a new server as we have exhausted the storage capacity available on the old one. At some point the Site will be down and the database will cease to work so the message system won’t be available. This is all very normal and temporary and if you encounter problems they should be rapidly resolved.