Gusto news and views!

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Grapes ready to be taken to the cantina.

Busy, Busy, Busy!!

No apologies for not writing for a while, we have a great excuse!

In only our second year, we are exceeding even our own expectations and we’re wonderfully busy and each day brings us new friends along with a daily reason to show off Umbria and a little of what she has to offer.

After a weather blip in July this summer has proven to be a long, hot and dry one.  Umbria has, for once, not lived up to her nickname of “The green heart of Italy”.  She is distinctly brown this summer!

Mind you, a little rain goes a long way here – a thunderstorm a few days ago almost instantly greened up the lawn again and the rather wizened looking olives plumped right up again!

The weather is still sensational even at the end of September, cooler in the evenings, but even so, the days are beautifully warm and sunny.

We have been honing our Gusto day out over this season and it’s getting better and better according to the feedback we get from our guests!

We’re in the process of adding another string to our bow and we shall be rolling out ‘Wines in Villa’ soon.  One of the things we have noticed this year is that larger groups tend to be a mix of adults and children.  We have found that the children are there because the parents don’t have any other option. They don’t have the best time!  It’s an adult day out and with the best will in the world, there’s only so much we can organise to entertain the kids on a wine tour.

We’ve also had some enquiries where they only want a short day, with or without children!

Others have visited countless cantine and would just like to taste the Umbrian wines.

So, we figured, lets bring the tastings to the guests.

For some of our guests, we think this could be the perfect answer.  We bring the wines and the snacks that complement the wines – our guests provide the setting.

It also means that potentially, we can include a bigger catchment area – at the moment if we have enquiries from the extremes of Umbria, we have to ask our guests to meet us closer to Montefalco.  If we are only going to one place, we can ‘afford’ the time it takes to drive there and back.   You can see the idea on our website.

We’re also going to offer a seasonal treat of a guided olive oil tasting.  This area not only has fabulous wines, but the olive oil is spectacular too!  We are hoping to link this autumn alternative to the new olive oils coming out at the end of October.  There will be a very small additional fee for this option of €5.00. We’ll be offering this up to the end of this year initially and will look into offering it as an alternative to one of the cantine during the day if there is enough positive feedback.

Vendemmia at the back of our house..

It’s been all hands to the wheel much earlier this year because of the hot dry weather resulting in the vendemmia starting at least 2 weeks early for even the earliest grapes to be harvested like the Chardonnay.

2011 is going to be a ‘big question’ mark vintage year, the winemakers just don’t know if they have managed to save their grapes or not.  Time will tell and we’ll see in about 3 years from now for the Montefalco wines!

The vines at the back of our house were all harvested in the 3rd week of August, including the Sangiovese (red) grapes.  They were ready and ripe.  Some of the cantine even have their Sagrantino grapes on the racks for the gorgeous Passito dessert wine.  These grapes traditionally don’t ripen until mid October.  This is exceptionally early for this procedure.

Last September we were honoured to have a young man ask his lovely girlfriend to be his wife and, luckily, she said yes!  Tomorrow, on the 1st October, they will be getting married. We wish Mark and Jessie all the very best and thanks again for their kind invitation to their wedding!

We’re hoping that there will still be grapes to be seen on the vines next week, as our guests have all requested to at least see, if not participate in some way, with the vendemmia!  Fingers crossed, we love to exceed expectations!

LOVE me some grapes!

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