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Sun dried Tomatoes

Tomato Passata sauce, part 1

Tomato Passata sauce, part 2

The Dream Team

They came from everywhere, America ,Ireland ,Israel, the Uk ,Brazil ,Italy and even Columbia to answer a call for help. Their destination was Allerona and their  task ,to pick 4 tons of grapes .

It was the fastest harvests  we’ve ever done!

Saturday morning in our vineyard in Umbria, Allerona , there were more humans beings then bunches of grapes waiting to be picked! The weather was beautiful and more and more people continued to arrive, the atmosphere was just like a party. My job, after collecting a group of American students from the University of Arizona Orvieto Study Abroad Program and a couple of new friends who travelled by train from Rome to the Orvieto station, was to make sure everyone had a good lunch after they had finished all the hard work. Nick’s job  was to explain to everyone what to do, carry and load all the full bins of grapes into the container and of course take a lot of photos.

Every now and again I would stick my head out from the kitchen just to check at what stage the harvest was at and every time Nick would say “it must be an early lunch, its only 11 o`clock and we`re working so fast out here more than half of the vineyard has already been collected”. Meanwhile, my phone kept ringing and ringing with more and more people on their way from Rome and Orvieto coming to give us a hand.
Never before have we had such a response to our call for help, plus I have to say, that even if in the opinion of some farmers in the area our group were not the most super professional team, we  certainly had the BEST group of beautiful, lovely people and smiling faces . What I maintain is that the harvest should be a day of celebration and fun, and to quote one of the students it seemed to him that the harvest in Sagraincasa is very much like THANKS GIVING  IN THE USA!  I loved it!



But back to the vineyard, at 12am the harvest was over, the sausages were cooking , lunch for 40 people was almost ready but needed about another 40 minutes before it was ready to serve!!!



For our guests this was not a problem , in fact I suddenly realized that there was no one in the vineyard ,and then I saw a large number of people had moved on to our mountain of firewood which had just been delivered and were stacking it for us in the dry storage place!! Incredible.



8 tons of wood stored in 40 minutes, I was so shocked, but In their opinion they had not done enough to earn lunch, so they went straight onto the wood! My God,  I felt so much pressure on me, I had to return such generosity with lot’s of good food at the very least.

Focaccia with Mortadella
Savory cake with radicchio, gorgonzola and walnuts
Red onion quiche
Lasagna Beef
Sausages gently cooked in our red grape juice
Spelt salad with cherry tomatoes from my vegetable garden , mozzarella and handmade pesto
 Mediterranean Beans
Potato salad and fresh herbs
 Green leaves salad with fennel and carrots dressed with our Extra Virgin Olive oil


All this to be washed down with vast quantities of wine . Ladies and gentlemen, EVERYTHING was eaten and drunk!


I am so very happy with how well the day went, a real party day.  So from the bottom of our hearts we want to thank you all for participating in this year’s harvest, it was such a great pleasure for Nick and I to have you here. Thank you,thank you , grazie a tutti.


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