It’s harvest time in Tuscany. It’s that special time of the year when wine is made once again and you eat schiacciata con l’uva! I used to experience harvest with my family when I was a toddler and I have great memories of this time of year. So I was happy to go back in time and experience the grape harvest at Villa Medicea di Lilliano in Chianti. Here comes the harvest in picture!
The majestic harvest at Lilliano in pictures
The art of winemaking
The passion for Chianti of Malenchini family started almost 100 years ago, when in 1930 Vincenzo Malenchini transformed the land around the Medicean Villa in vineyards and olive groves. Since then Malenchini wine estate has been growing and becoming a renowned winery for its production of Chianti, Chianti Colli Fiorentini and the “Super Tuscan” Bruzzico.
Grape harvest at Lilliano lasts about 2 weeks and generally happens in the second part of September. But how do you know when to start harvest? Diletta, owner and wine maker, explains that she uses her both senses – taste, sight and touch – and technical tools like the refractometer that measures grape’s concentration of sugar.
When grape is ready is harvested by hand, so that the good and best grape is selected; a special machine takes off stalks and smashes the grapes. Then are passed into silo, where the juice and grape’s skins are mixed 3 times per day for about 2 weeks. This process, called rimontaggio, serves to color the wine because it’s the skin that gives the color to the grape.
After two weeks the wine is svinato, i.e. the skins are separated from the wine; skins are pressed once again and then sent to distilleries to make grappa. After three months the second fermentation is done and wine is moved into barrels and barriques to season for the time needed.
Wine Tasting at Lilliano
Villa Medicea di Lilliano has its own shop open every day. Here you can buy its wines and extra virgin olive oil, as well as other local products coming from local farmers in the surroundings. You can come directly to the shop and ask for wine tasting and visit the cellar. If you want to have a typical Tuscan lunch and the wine tour I recommend you book your visit ahead. For reservation and information visit their site.