January Activity in Umbria

Although the weather is really changeable at this time of year, there’s still room for some glorious sunny, blue-skied days – perfect for getting out and exploring the beautiful hills in our area of Umbria.

It’s January and the vineyards and olive groves are alive with activity.  This is the time that the vines and olive trees are pruned back ready for the new seasons growth.  Bonfires are everywhere, they gather all that precious olive wood and burn it!!  I guess it could’ve been used to make some chop sticks, but normally they just burn twigs!  I just know how expensive anything made in olive wood is!  It always makes me think – surely something could be done with the wood, but not being skilled in wood-turning……… 

They burn the long shoots of the vines too, but not all of them, you see very neat piles of them at the ends of the vine rows.  They’re used to tie the next seasons shoots to the training wires – natural resource and much cheaper than using binding twine!  We were given some vine shoots to do what we wanted with and we used them on the barbeque – they gave the food a wonderful smoky, very slightly winey flavour – delicious!

I think my favourite time of year for the views is around  November when the leaves of the vines turn all the colours of Autumn. Looking at the colours of the vine leaves tells you the grape variety!  Like a mini New England spreading across the rolling hills.  You can spot Sagrantino easily, it’s the only one that turns a beautiful autumnal red!

Just a short one today, we’re very excited because we’ve just been reviewed on Trip Advisor!
More later!

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