The word vendemmia (grape harvest) comes from Latin, from the fusion of vinum (wine) and demere (lift), therefore it literally means harvesting the grapes. It is the only term coined specifically for a harvest in Italy. In ancient Roman tradition, the grape harvest coincided with the Vinalia Rustica festival, on August 19, where the priest – the Flamen Dialis – collected the first grape and officially began the harvest. These anecdotes make us understand how important the grape harvest is in Italy, it is an integral part of our culture.
Even in our past, the harvest was much more than a simple harvest, it was a moment of celebration together with friends and relatives. They were all happy to help each other and work in the vineyards together, singing and chatting. For lunch the womens of the house set the table with the most delicious foods and everyone gathered to celebrate the end of the season. We still have those days imprinted in our minds, the moment when everyone went to the vineyard with their baskets, the ferrous smell of the morning dew, while the sun began to illuminate the vine with its colours.
For lunch they arrived from the vineyard, tired but happy, ready to sit around the table and eat. The satisfied grandmothers who had started cooking since dawn. And then off again to the quiet of the vineyard, between the rustling of the leaves and the scent of ripe grapes, in the center of a unique atmosphere. This is why our family supports the territory as best as possible, for us Mocali is not just a farm but our home.
Times have changed but here, together with our collaborators, we are a big family and to ease the fatigue we keep each other company by laughing and joking. Even winemaking practices have changed over time, today we use cutting-edge technologies for temperature control, a soft crushing-destemming method which, in addition to separating the stems from the grapes, selects the ripe grains from the others, leaving them intact. The grape reception area is located above the winemaking cellar so that the grapes fall by gravity, eliminating the use of pumps.
Our winemaking style is current but with respect for tradition, as it has changed to follow modern technologies but without adopting intrusive methods or resorting to the use of chemical products. Every step we take is linked to respecting the characteristics and peculiarities of the vine.
The harvest does not only concern the harvesting phase, in fact we must first follow the progress of the ripening of the grapes, the balance between acids and sugars to decide when to harvest. After harvesting, the red grapes are placed in tanks together with the skin, in this way the color and aromas are enhanced. The alcoholic fermentation lasts 7/10 days and is carefully controlled, after which the skins are separated and sent to the distillery. The white grapes, on the other hand, are cooled to a temperature of around 6° before being destemmed and softly pressed. Fermentation begins after 24 hours, maintaining the temperature below 16° and in the absence of oxygen. It takes place without peels, this helps to maintain a light color.
After years of early harvests, 2023 re-established the balance of harvest times, but it was particularly difficult. In the spring, heavy rains favored the main pathologies of the vine and as a result we had reduced production, but of good quality.
During the harvest our company remains open to the public and customers can follow the arrival of the grapes in the cellar live.