Well, we have started this second week making two decisions, or rather a decision and a question. Given the current Prosecco market we’ve decided to pick it with machines because we need to start saving money on it. We have always claimed that harvesting by hand is an added value, not just an added cost to us, but unfortunately, we cannot keep these high production costs anymore.
Given the trend in this very unsatisfactory and frustrating market we must try to reduce the cost of production because the profit has become almost non-existent. The market price of this sparkling wine is decided by the Consortiums and by the big gatekeepers, and this year the price remains unchanged: “We understand – said the president of the Consortium Innocente Nardi – that consumers today can not bear price increases and we decided to reduce the profit of all categories to confirm their trust” (source).
We see it in a different way but do not want to get into it because if you’ve read our opinion on this argument (https://www.sfrisowinery.com/en/prosecco-what-a-mess/) you know very well what we think. The fact is that these “gentlemen” decide for all producers based on what they think is best for them. So on this basis, we decided to harvest Glera with grape harvesting machine lowering the cost of production of several thousands of Euros, which are always better in our pocket than in the other’s pocket.The question instead is whether to bottle Prosecco and continue as poor soldiers in the war of the market or simply withdraw and concentrate on the products that we like best and give us the most satisfaction? Touring Europe with our evenings and through the tastings in the
Our question now is whether to bottle Prosecco and continue as poor soldiers in the war of the market or simply withdraw and concentrate on the products that we like best and give us the most satisfaction? Touring Europe with our evenings and through the tastings, we found that our other wines are liked much more because they are different and reflect more what and who we are while the Prosecco in their opinion is a commercial product for the masses. Not our Prosecco, but Prosecco in general.
They say “if we want a Prosecco we go to the supermarket, otherwise if we want something different and particular we find it at the producer’s.” So this is the general image around Prosecco, and being a small producer from the lower Treviso province we definitely do not want and we can’t invest loads of money to promote a product “the Sfriso way” knowing that is already controlled by the “gentlemen from up there” anyway. It would be like deciding how to consciously throw away money! So we have a few months to think about what to do … What do you think? Should we or shouldn’t we bottle Prosecco?
Day 6 – 7 – 8: Pinot Bianco
On Monday morning, the sixth day of harvest and we started with the Pinot Blanc. This grape gives us a basis to 50% for our Ambra Sparkling Brut. An elegant dry sparkling wine that goes well with elegant seafood. The grapes are healthy and beautiful but have low sugar content, we are around 11% vol.which is a bit low for Ambra so surely we should add the concentrated grape sugar to bring up the alcohol content.
We are also anxious because the weather is changing and more raining at this point would be a big trouble. The grape does not need additional moisture would only cause an increase of the mold and lead to production loss. The grapes that are ripening now are in need of sun during the day and cool temperatures at night. And then the rain would stop the harvest, which on one side is good because we have time to prepare very well in the cellar, to organize deliveries and would allow us to think and reflect well on wine. On the other hand, we are sorry to stop because the sooner we bring “home” all the grapes the sooner we are saved!
On Tuesday and Wednesday, seventh and eighth days of harvest, we continued with the Pinot Bianco, but unfortunately we were not able to harvest all day because the rain came in both afternoons.
Day 9: Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay and start of school
Today is Thursday and finally the sun is shining after two days of variable cloudy and rainy weather. As I said, now the rain is not good for grapes, so thank goodness it has not rained for long and the strong wind dried the humidity.
Today we have finished picking the Pinot Bianco and started with Chardonnay. The grapes of Chardonnay are tiny so for those who pick them gives the impression of never going forward and never ending the rows. Chardonnay is the other half to 50% of our Ambra Sparkling Brut, so it’s important to work it well both on the vineyard and in the cellar. Fortunately, this grape will give an alcohol content of more than 12% vol … perfect to make the base of our sparkling wine together with Pinot Bianco. The gradation of the two wines together and their characteristics will produce another year of great Ambra.
Today is also the first day of school for our daughters, which means that eventually we can get back to a normal working rhythm . For as long as they are at home, I, their mummy, am with them full-time, which means that my job waits and accumulates. For anyone who knows us knows that we suffer the fact of not being able to do everything we need to do or would like to do to grow our small company. So today is a great day, because from now on I will be able to dedicate myself also to the work.
Day 10: Chardonnay
Today is Friday and luckily we saved ourselves from last night’s hailstorm that hit our colleagues towards the hills. From our window, we could see heavy clouds, thunder and lightning approaching and we thought that a hail storm now would be the end for us, with Prosecco, Verduzzo (from which we make our beloved Verde Frizzante), Moscato Bianco and all reds still left to harvest. We were lucky again and that is why we decided to go ahead with the picking during the weekend because sooner or later weather will not be kind to us, so we continue picking without stopping until we can.Today we have also decanted the Pinot Grigio picked last week, there is a wonderful perfume in the cellar a mix of Pinot Grigio that has finished its fermentation and Pinot Bianco, which is still in slow fermentation, perfumes are mixed, fresh and floral, as if it was spring in the cellar.
Today we have also decanted the Pinot Grigio picked last week, there is a wonderful perfume in the cellar a mix of Pinot Grigio that has finished its fermentation and Pinot Bianco, which is still in slow fermentation, perfumes are mixed, fresh and floral as if it was spring in the cellar.
Day 11: Chardonnay
It’s Saturday morning and the alarm went off early because we wanted to continue to finish picking Chardonnay. This year this grape is not only beautiful and healthy with high sugar content, but it also has beautiful scents and presents itself well balanced. Now we have to work well in the cellar to turn it into a good wine. By noon we were already washing the machines, so in the afternoon, we were able to dedicate our time to our daughters.
We are tired, it’s been two full weeks, a lot of work and a lot of concentration. The body and mind are tired because as I said these weeks of harvest are the ones that decide our future. We sleep badly and little, the tension is high. We cannot lower our guard, we must be able to work well in the cellar, remember all the mistakes of the past to try to improve. We have so many plans and so many ideas but first we need to be able to do a good product.
Day 12: Prosecco
Even today that it is Sunday the alarm went off early, although Pier was already awake for a while for anxiety. The grape harvesting machine came at 7:30 to the Prosecco vineyard which has about 1.75 acres, so it’s quick to harvest. The much work remains then to us. Luckily the rain spared us again this time.
Today is also a good day to wash the cases. We work with about 180 cases that must be cleaned because if the must left in them become acid it’s a problem. So we take advantage that there is still good weather and wash these cases. It’s very important to keep everything very thoroughly cleaned, tanks, machinery, the environment, on the ground, is a continuous cleaning of the spaces and of things. One does not think about it, but if a tank is not clean in an impeccable way the must can be contaminated and become vinegar. If the environment is not clean, so the floor, walls, machines, etc., sooner or later arrive insects, smells sour, and that’s a bad sign. So we are maniacal with cleaning even if it seems that there is always something more to clean, we are never satisfied but it is also true that in the 24 hours it is difficult to fit everything.
As always we do our best.