Early harvest & lost in translation

I want to kick this blog off with some funny translation moments I have experienced recently while fumbling my way through learning Italian.

One I found out yesterday, which still makes me laugh, was when I asked how you say “shorts” as I was wearing shorts and I really need a new pair as I have lived in the couple of pairs I have now for months.  So, shorts in Italian is “pantaloncini” with sounds mighty like “pantaloni” which is trousers….basically, shorts translates to “little trousers” how incredibly awesome is that?!

The next I experienced while having to buy 4 new tyres for the car.  Where I am in Italy you get both summer and winter tyres usually as the roads in winter can be a bit of a nightmare.  So, the chap comes out and looks at the tyres I have on the car and says something magical, which through my love of food I got straightaway….he looked me in the eye and said “Quattro stagioni?” Anyone who loves pizza like me will know this little sucker is the four seasons pizza.  I basically ordered tyres for the car based on may knowledge and love of pizza..

The last one is something I get/got confused with quite a bit and still do to this day.  I kind of mumble it and hope people know what I am on about.  So the word for pork is “Maiaile” and the word for honey is “Miele”.  They do sound rather different when an Italian says them, but when I ask for Pork in my coffee, you can imagine the looks I get.  I can see people reading this and saying “honey in your coffee is still weird” haha.

Anyway, you want to know what we have been up to….

This week has been all about the harvest, the early harvest.

In Italy it is tradition that no harvesting starts until after the 15th of August known as ‘Ferragosto’, which is a national holiday and a celebration by the Catholic Church of the assumption of Mary, don’t ask me what that means.  Either way, for anyone to be harvesting now, it means we are in for an interesting year in the wine world here in Italy.


I was invited up to Diegale, who are producers and good friends of mine, so I could film and take pictures of the early harvest.  This meant an early, early start on Monday morning as it’s too hot to work here in the late morning and impossible after 11am.  Jackson and I were up before sunrise and took some time to sit and see the sun come up on the day start before we drove up to Paganico to see Alessandro and Paola.

When we arrived everyone was already hard at work.  Jackson and I found all the pickers hard at work and Alessandro inspecting this year’s Chardonnay crop with the big boss from Col d’Orcia who are a large wine producer in the region and who Alessandro sells a large amount of his crop too as he only produces wine from 16 hectares of his 40 hectare farm.  The rest of the grapes he sells.

An early harvest is done to collect the immature grapes of the Chardonnay and the Pinot Noir to make the Grand Cru, which is their interpretation of a champagne style wine. This year however pickings were slim.  With the extreme heat of the past few weeks and extreme lack of rain here in the Marrema region of Tuscany for months, the entire harvest has been affected.  Looking through the vines and seeing the grapes was heart breaking.  A great deal of the crop has been damaged by the extreme conditions.  This meant that the pickers had to look a little harder this year for the grapes they need to select.

With the heat rising in the fields and Jackson and I running up and down the rows to capture as much footage to show you as possible, we had to call it a day at 11am, mostly because of the heat but also because we had gone through three batteries on the camera and a memory card!  We managed to collect a great deal of fascinating footage of the harvest which I am quickly pulling together to put on our YouTube channel so you can all see the process in action.

The wines from Diegale will be available in our wine club which you can join via our website and the videos of our antics are available on our YouTube channel.

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