Saturday, September 28, 2013

Stomping Grapes & Making Wine on San Michele, Part 2

Pausing for lunch beneath the grape arbors in the monastery of San Michele
Though we didn't know it before we attended the grape harvest and stomping last Sunday on San Michele, we discovered that this event and others like it are sponsored by La laguna nel bicchiere: le vigne ritrovate (The Lagoon in a Glass: Vineyards Rediscovered), a group headed by Professor Flavio Franceschet, which is devoted to the cultivation (quite literally), or re-cultivation of the ancient traditions of wine-making in the Venetian lagoon. 

The old cantina in the 15th-century monastery on San Michele (pictured in my previous post) has been resuscitated and serves as the wine production facility not only for grapes harvested from within its own walls, but from other traditional Venetian vineyards, such as those within the walls of San Francesco della Vigna and I Carmelitani Scalzi, and from vines on Sant' Erasmo, Mazzorbo and Giudecca.

Franceschet's group has been recognized this year for its contributions to the culture of the Veneto by the Fondazione Masi, which provides a brief overview of the aims and activities of La laguna nel bicchiere in both English: http://www.fondazionemasi.com/eng/masi_prize/edition/339_Le%20Vigne%20di%20Venezia%20project

and Italian: http://www.fondazionemasi.com/ita/premio_masi/edizione/336_Progetto

An even more detailed account of the group's goals is available (in Italian) in the online cultural magazine Il ridotto di Venezia: http://ilridotto.info/it/content/laguna-nel-bicchiere-unaltra-venezia-%C3%A8-possibile

The group also has a closed Facebook group, to which one can apply for inclusion.

Of course, this is one of the group's busiest times of year; there's another vendemmia or harvest scheduled for Monday in an old vineyard hidden away near the Arsenale, to be followed by more stomping (or pigiare) on San Michele, which I doubt I can make because of work. But Jen and I and Sandro, too, all look forward to doing more with this group.

Flavio Franceshet, in hat at left, the director of La Laguna nel Bicchiere


The multi-talented winemaker, musician, performer and poet, Gigi Miracol (who appeared 2 years ago in this blog as the winner of a poetry slam at Ca' Tron: http://veneziablog.blogspot.it/2011/09/poetry-competition-at-ca-tron.html)

Picking the stems out of the stomped grapes

Some lines inscribed on a marble slab amid the stone walkway around the monastery garden: Tomorrow the sun/ Of God will warm/ My wounds,/ "From one of his/ Poems". From one of whose poems? And why the quotation marks around that phrase?
A poem by Gianluigi Simonetti posted beside the entry to la cantina, and particularly well-suited to vineyards on a cemetery island
     
For Part 1 of "Stomping Grapes & Making Wine on San Michele" go here: http://veneziablog.blogspot.it/2013/09/stomping-grapes-making-wine-on-san.html      

For a short video of wine stomping taken on this day go here: http://veneziablog.blogspot.it/2013/09/winemaking-on-isola-di-san-michele.html      

                                                                                         

14 comments:

  1. If you squint at the fourth photo it looks like a french impressionist painting. The dappled light in the photos is beautiful.

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    1. I suspect there's probably photo-editing software that could make a pic look exactly (or almost) like an Impressionist painting, but I think I prefer your squinting method, Anonymous.

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  2. I like the course your blog is taking - it's very different from the "lone gondola in a quiet canal" school of blogging from Venice :)

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    1. Thanks, Sasha, I'm glad you like it; though I have nothing against lone gondolas or sandolas--and actually enjoy them--it's not usually my experience.

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  3. Well, now you've done it! An autumn trip is a must, it seems. (No pun intended, truly.)

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    1. They start with the grape harvest so early, Yvonne, it really almost counts as late summer! I always think of it in terms of starting in October and then run the risk of missing all the action.

      And with puns like that you will be welcomed with open arms at any vendemmia! Though you may have to come up with some Italian variants.

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  4. Surely only winemakers make jokes like that?

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  5. Dear Anon. Or, wine drinkers? :-)

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  6. Maybe you're right.....do wine drinkers use that technical term? Maybe they do.....

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    1. It may depend on how much they've been drinking...

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  7. I really enjoyed reading this post, big fan. Keep up the good work and please tell me when can you publish more articles or where can I read more on the subject?

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