Sunday, October 15, 2017

#Harvest2017: Experiencing the Harvest in Soave and Sharing it on Instagram

Instagram is the social media par excellence dedicated to the sharing of multimedia material. Compared to all the others (Facebook, Snapchat etc.) it is the most used channel to express emotions and sensations with photos and videos of short duration.


Although the owner is the same as Facebook – the American billionaire Mark Zuckerberg – Instagram is different for the focus on the images, offering also the possibilities to share "stories", videos that remain online for 24 hours. From a personal experience, I can assure you that, thanks to Instagram, this year I was able to share the harvest in Soave and also the good moments often spent along my friend Fabien Laine (expert on Food & Wine videomaking). In fact, it was a unique experience, which allowed me to better understand how social media work.




With the help of a drone we went to the discovery of the hills of Soave and the valley where they make Durello. We tried some excellent Durello made with traditional method, nothing close to the cheap sparkling wine present in the supermarkets. 

The drone is actually a nice "toy", which has the advantage of exalting, at a glance, unique landscapes. But those who drive it must be careful not to lose sight of it because, otherwise, the cost of professional equipment is around 1000 euros and even beyond. 

This was my first harvest. I had a lot of fun, but at the same time I understood the hard work behind it: sweat, team spirit and a lot of passion. I could see and appreciate all this at the Mainente winery in the centre of Soave. Davide showed us the process of production of the Recioto di Soave, obtained by drying up the grapes. 



It was also exciting to visit the Gini winery, where the family management, the know-how acquired and the beauty of the old vineyards on a steep hillside are an exceptional combination. We tasted in the vineyards the "Vecchie Vigne 2014": an experience at 0 KM that has no price.  



The “Festa dell’Uva” (grapes’ feast) in the cities Soave and Monteforte-probably less known outside Veneto’s borders- are very engaging events during which experts examine with precision the quality of the grapes determining the winners of the harvest in progress. 


Un post condiviso da Giuseppe De Cesare (@foodtravelculture) in data:

Going back to the theme of social media, I must add that for a wine blogger the use of hashtags, the interest expressed by the followers for wine and the quality of the photos are the most important elements of the success of a post on Instagram. We must above all know how to convey the feelings of living a unique moment, like the harvest, which must be communicated in all its intrinsic beauty and vivacity. Through the images one can try to give an idea of what happens, but obviously my suggestion to everyone is to live it firsthand, just to "breathe" the wine, to use the words of the winemaker Luigi Moio.



Un post condiviso da Giuseppe De Cesare (@foodtravelculture) in data:

For example, a video published on Instagram and shot at the Cantina Fornaro, managed by the young Damiano-who showed the first winemaking processes- offers a clear and concrete idea of how wine is made. It is therefore very useful material also from an educational point of view. 






This harvest has not been easy: some producers have seen a loss of up to 40% of their harvest. Going around the Soave vineyards, I have understood the difficulties that producers must constantly face, including the problems of constant drought and frost, which cause major losses. So, while in some areas the grapes were perfect, in other vineyards nearby there were few grapes and of low quality, mainly because of the drought. At Cantina Del Castello, where I actually did the harvest and were I was welcomed by a wonderful staff, they were lucky enough to have among the best grapes of this year. Excellent quality, despite the difficult year. 

In volcanic territories of higher altitudes, such as that of Sandro De Bruno, the frost was devastating. During a visit to his vineyards, held with other members of the Italian Sommelier Association (AIS), I understood how much passion there is behind the work of the producers and how difficult vintages like this are dealt with so much sacrifice and hard work to preserve quality. Fortunately, we still have many producers that, like Sandro, make volcanic wines of high quality. Wines that are savory, fresh and mineral. Definitely, they are in my top 5 of volcanic wines!


Cheers to all of you and, in particular to the producers of Soave. In the next post I will talk about Saccola, an indigenous grape variety from the Veneto region which I have been harvesting in the last few days!
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