If you were to spend a year in Tuscany you would realize that there are moments of our “culinary” calendar that are celebrated with as much passion as our main traditional holidays. It is almost like having more seasons to the year: Fall for instance can easily be split into its Grape Harvest first half and Olive Harvest as its second half. While growing up in Fiesole, in the glory days of my grandfather running the farm, those always were epic moments!
On a sunny September day, Renato would lower down all the seats in his Citroen DS, raise the hydraulic shocks to their maximum, allow me to sit in the from with him and exit the gate of the Villa where all the farmers and friends would be waiting for him to lead them down into the vineyard. Nonno would honk the horn (well, it was me more often that not) and everybody would start following us down the impervious and rocky path through the fields; the big Fiat tractor would carry baskets, tools and all the kids that were able to convince their mothers to let them, everybody else followed by foot.
The day would start early and end at sunset. It was one of the hardest things I remember doing as a kid… I sure was allowed to have fun in between the grapes with my friends, but we were there to work, and very often we were called to order by threat of loosing our evening dessert treat. In fact, while most of us were clipping fruit, my grandmother and her friends, along with some of the farmers’ wives, would spend the day in the kitchen preparing food for our little army. At lunch they would send over sandwiches and drinks, beer was preferred to wine as it was more refreshing and also because wine was going to be the star of the evening.
At the end of the day in fact, covered in sugar and sweat, we would slowly climb back up toward the main garden of the farm, where very large tables would be already set under lights that were strung in between trees. I remember running with my brother to wash myself at the sink by the barn and rushing back to my family for the real beginning of the celebration; Renato in fact would emerge from the wine cellar with our youngest wine bottles and with ceremonious voice announce the beginning of the evening.
A guitar would always be available for anybody that wanted to contribute musically to the evening, food kept on coming out of the kitchen until late at night and wine was poured into glasses in a way that I only can describe similar to what I remember reading in books about ancient Greek or Roman history.
The very beginning of our grape harvest has always been on a Saturday, since children had to be in school the following Monday, and it was appropriately celebrated… after the first “opening of the Games” work in the fields would go on every single day until all grapes were picked, then we would celebrate again with a final massive party!
Yes I miss those days very much, I hope soon (or at least one day) to be able to recoup our vineyard and embrace once again a family tradition that got lost for the moment, but not forgotten.
As always, given the nature of our events and the small size of our room, tickets are transferrable but not refundable. Please double check your calendar before pulling the trigger! Our shop is not a restaurant but rather a communal dining room. We do not fire our orders based on your arrival time, we do not use heating lamps and we get sad when our food gets cold because a guest is late. Pretend you are coming to dinner at grandma… mine used to smack me if I was late for Sunday supper. We won’t get physical, we will just start without you around 7.15.
We will offer a selection of Prosecco, Red and White wine, Beer and Digestif by the glass or by the bottle.
If you have been saving a bottle of Brunello for a special occasion feel free to bring it, we charge a $15 corking fee with a maximum of 1 bottle for every two people.
Taxes and Fees are included in this purchase.
Alcohol and Gratuity are not included.