|My first vendemmia. It must have been in love.|
We weren’t shortchanged on lunch, however, as Paolo’s mother, Franca, who has more casalinga in her pinky finger than most casalinge have in their entire bodies, prepared a wonderful spread of food.
Never one to miss out on the fun, I did drive down to check on da boyz around mid-morning, and I arrived just in time for breakfast. Their version of breakfast was as follows: Two large focaccia (“from the best bakery in Florence!” Paolo later boasted), two salami logs, and five bottles of wine for the nine of them. These items were eaten not from plastic plates on a checkered tablecloth but from the flatbed of Paolo’s pick-up truck. They finished well before noon, and brought the grapes down to our cantina to start processing them, a job that, with this year’s meager harvest, required far fewer than nine people. When Paolo called for me to throw down some plastic cups, I knew there was a lot more drinking of last year’s wine than there was processing of this year’s.
This is about the time they decided it would be a good idea to go shoot a crossbow
They had 30 people helping them and when there were no more grapes to pick, the crew stacked all their firewood. What’s worse is that when I saw Nick’s photos of the day, all my American expat friends were there, picking grapes, stacking firewood and feasting on Simona’s lunch! Oh the disloyalty! The betrayal! One of them even had the audacity to blog about it!
Still, I know Paolo and the guys would not have traded their salami sliced with a pocketknife for Simona’s “savory cake with radicchio, gorgonzola and walnuts,” not even for a minute. (I might have; them, never.) And in the end, I think it’s a good thing that there is always a tale of two vendemmias. Like two sides of the same coin, both are a slice of authentic Italy, albeit one perhaps a bit more “rustic” than the other.
Damned weekend warriors. Photo by Nick Cornishhttp://nickcornishphotography.com/
vendemmias' asses: Nonno Gino singing