Red Vendemmia I – 2015

We took advantage of the visit from the boys to pull a couple hundred kilo of our montepulciano d’abruzzo grapes up from the vineyard.  We did it all by hand, loading 20kg cases and then lugging them up to the shed.

St. Peter scored us a crusher-destemmer machine for us to borrow… which made the crushing far easier.  For good measure, however,  Sweet Baby G gave the grapes an extra crushing the old fashioned way.

It’s always great to have some help with a harvest (even a little one) and especially great for the help to come from the boys.  The house wine we make will be a genuine family effort!

Next up: harvesting the rest of the montepulciano!


Bottling Time!

This is a no-no; too much air hitting the wine.  (Tanbay and I aren't big on following the rules.)

This is a no-no; too much air hitting the wine. (Tanbay and I aren’t big on following the rules.)

After nearly a year of resting in barrels and tanks, it’s time to put our inaugural red wine into the bottles for a long rest.  This Montepulciano d’Abruzzo was hauled up from the vineyard by hand, and after being fermented (in the utility room under the outside stairs) was pressed by hand (using a kitchen colander).

Thankfully, Sweet Baby G and I had some great help with the bottling.  Ron’s here for his summer visit, and we’re also happy to have another set of “kids” – Laura and Tanbay of the Travelling Weasels.  So much fun!

This one’s a bit to acidic for my taste, but it should settle down after a couple of years in the bottle.  Hopefully we’ll have the patience to find out!  (Come visit, and we’ll pop open a bottle to see how it’s doing!)


An Early Bottle of TD Montepulciano


Our good friend Kathy snuck away from a work trip in Bologna to spend a couple of nights with us at Tutto Doppio.  We ate and walked and drank.  And then we repeated.  Fantastic.

Kathy happened to be here during our once-every-two-week tasting of the montepulciano that’s in the oak barrel.  We have another batch in the steel tank waiting its turn on the oak, so did a side-by-side comparison.  She preferred the brighter taste of the wine without any time in the barrel, so we promptly had her bottle some up for the trip home.

Technically, this isn’t the first bottle of the batch.  But even if it was, we’d be happy to be sharing it with her!



Oakie Dokey?

20150330_185730When aging wine in a barrel – especially a new barrel – it’s really important to monitor how the wine is doing.  The last thing you want to do is over-oak the wine.

Thankfully, this awful job falls to Sweet Baby G.  As you can see, it’s tough work, and the view from her cubicle is pretty barren (see below).  I hope she doesn’t report me to the Italian labor authorities.

P.S. The wine’s not quite ready so this means – sadly – that she will have to repeat this painful process in about two weeks.



Tutto Doppio Red to Bed

Yesterday we put about half of our first batch of Tutto Doppio montepulciano into a small (100 liter) barrel for some special oak time.  We’re holding back the other half to top off the barrel, to make adjustments, and the like.

The taste from the tank at this point is good – not spectacular, but quite good – and we will see where we are in a few months.  Definitely wine that we will enjoy… because we will probably end up with 200+ bottles in the cellar!


A Pretty Sight


The only thing more beautiful than a new oak wine barrel is an old one full of wine.

Over the next few days we’re prepping this smallish (100 liter) oak barrel so we can fill it with our inaugural batch of montepulciano d’abruzzo… a late barreling to say the least!

Stay tuned (and come see us for a taste)!


“Pecorino: Marche’s Comeback Kid”


There’s a nice article at Palate Press describing the beloved pecorino grape as Le Marche’s “Comeback Kid.”

We have a couple of acres of this fantastic grape planted at Tutto Doppio, and have our fingers crossed for a good harvest this fall.  Making white wine is a bit more challenging than red, but maybe we’ll have a go at it this year.

Pecorino can be difficult to find in the US, so we’d recommend you come visit!

Some of our local favorites are Cocci Grifoni winery (named for the guy who brought the grape back from oblivion), Paolo & Paola’s Fiorano (home of the Donna Orgilla pecorino), Poderi Capecci’s (they make the tasty Ciprea pecorino), Le Caniette (Io Sono Gaia is pricey but good) and several others.


Bottle ‘Em Up!


This morning our good friends Paolo and Paola at Fiorano winery in Cossignano invited us to come watch them fill and cork nearly 20,000 bottles of some of the tastiest pecorino and rose wines in Italy. It was a real production, full of friends and excitement!