I feel about Sicily like you probably do about Italy:
I get goosebumps just thinking about it. I plan, consult the guidebooks, google it all and send countless messages to friends there long before I even know my departure date.
And while it makes me giddy to even say this aloud, I’m off again to Sicily tomorrow morning, to both work the harvest on Etna and to film it for our television series about southern Italian wine.
The structure of the harvest days has been the same for all 7 harvests so far (Etna is ‘8’ and Vulture is the 9th and final harvest). I sleep in my car (more on that later), wake up before sun up and begin to take pictures. A lot of pictures. I shoot 4K video on a tripod, with a gimbel and with a drone until the sun becomes too topdown for good exposure and then I move over to harvest alongside the others, starting about nine until about two.
This goes on for days and just as the producers are wiped out from all the long hours and begin to collapse, I move on to the next region, grape and growing zone, all the scratches on my arms and bee stings never really able to fade.
We’ll be broadcasting a live streaming from Etna on Saturday with Angelo and Carmen, my Sicilian relatives, even if the DNA has yet to prove it. Those that join in will take a virtual tour of Catania’s fish market and will learn about one of Italy’s most idiosyncratic grapes, carricante, a white that is often released to market years after the harvest (a freakish trait for whites).
If you’ve been attending our Saturday night streaming lessons, thank you and we’re likely already all caught up because of the ‘one last glass’ zoom sessions afterward. If you’re waiting for the wine classes to start again, they will in two weeks once all the harvests are over.
Join us for the streamings. This week transmitted from an active volcano.
It’s a really nice way to keep in touch until your next visit.
‘Respond’, even if just to say ‘ciao’.