Sunday, September 28, 2008

Grape Harvest

Today, we went to a farm just outside Tuscania and picked grapes. A local guy named Marco and his family let us come over and harvest them. They probably got a kick out of the free labor that is normal for them but that we were really excited about. There wasn’t really that much to it though, just clipping them off the vine and putting them in buckets. I was a little bit disappointed that we didn’t get to squash them in a bucket with our feet; apparently, they have machines that do that these days that are a little bit more sanitary. They showed us how they squish the grapes and then allow them to ferment before purifying the wine. The grapes that we picked will be ready as wine by the end of November or early December.

After we picked the grapes, we helped his parents make lunch. We ate this incredible spaghetti. It had pork in it that had been aging for a year, and it was just a little bit spicy. They also cooked goat for us on shish-ka-bobs and potatoes. The food was amazing!

After lunch and a political conversation with the Italians, we set off for a hike around their farm. We hiked down to a river which was gorgeous and allowed us to see the beauty of the countryside. We also saw more Etruscan tombs carved into the side of the cliffs. The Etruscans were native people who lived around Tuscania before the Medieval times, before the Greeks came to Italy. They carved large tombs into the sides of the cliffs, and then placed their sarcophagi within.

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