A community effort
‘Vendemmia’ is the Italian word for harvest. It usually happens between July and October in Italy. Thomas of GrapeVine has worked for neighbouring vineyards offering a helping hand at harvest time. It really is a community effort with lots of helping hands coming from friends and family who live locally. Everyone works hard under the blazing sun, but are usually rewarded back in the cantina with a glass of something good enough to quench the thirst.
Manual or Mechanical harvesting and Co-operative Production.
There are many small producers who don’t have the resources for bottling, labelling and International marketing to export the fruits of their labour. These vineyard owners, usually sell their grapes to a larger producer or to a co-operative such as the one at Campodipietra in the Piave wine route.
Small producers that rely on selling their grapes are often dictated to by the larger producer/buyer regarding the way the grapes need to be harvested and to save time and expense, the buyer normally sends their mechanical harvester to remove the grapes from the vines.
True artisans are strongly against the mechanical method as it can cause irreparable damage to their vines. Thomas as once asked by a vineyard owner to come and photograph the damage that the mechanical harvester had done to his vines. Manual or Mechanical harvesting is always a lively debate amongst wine makers in Italy, but it does seem that the smaller producers have little option if they want to sell their harvest.