Italia Per Due: Week 12 The Stages Begin
Stage at Tormaresca
Today I started a new chapter in the final three weeks in Italy by arriving at Tormaresca Winery with another classmate, Jessica. Tormaresca has two locations in Puglia (Masseria Maime and Bocca di Lupo) and we will be completing our stage at their Bocca di Lupo estate which is in northern Puglia. Working at a winery was something that I dreamed of when I first heard about this concentration and it is amazing that I get to have this opportunity.
I started the day off by meeting Laura, who is the winemaker here at the winery. She showed us around, starting with where the grapes come in from the field, where leaves and sticks are cleaned from them, and finally where the grapes are crushed. Here at Bocca di Lupo, they grow red grapes like Aglianico, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Nero di Troia, and whites grapes like Chardonnay, Fiano, and Moscato. She then took us into the warehouse where there are many large silos where the crushed grapes are kept to ferment and obtain flavor from the skins. After, she showed us the barrel room where they were cleaning the barrels for next week when they will be filled with wine that will then age for about one year.
The barrel room at Bocca di Lupo
The main part of our day was spent watching the bottling process for Pietrabianca, which is a Castel del Monte DOC Chardonnay and Fiano blend. It was amazing watching the workers set up the machines to bottle magnums. Laura let Jessica and me try the wine before it got put in the bottles. The whole process—bottle in the machine, cleaned, dried, wine in the bottle, nitrogen pumped in to reduce oxidation, and finally, a cork is put into the bottle—takes about one to two minutes. Laura told us that today was one of only a few days that they bottle here at Bocca di Lupo, so it was a great experience to have.
Bottles of PIetrabianca ready to be labeled
I cannot wait to see what other great things we will get to see and do while we are here!
By Adam Shoemaker
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My Stage with Pastry Chef Ugo
Since last Monday, I have been completing my stage with Pastry Chef Ugo. This week, as I continue to work with Ugo in the morning, in my afternoons I decided to learn more about agriculture and work with a farmer here in our ‘hometown’ of Ugento. This particular farmer is 100% biological farm and produces all organic fruits, vegetables, herbs, and eggs. He has been supplying the Castello during our kitchen classes with almost all of our produce!
On my first day, we immediately started planting tomatoes, and chicory. We fed chickens and collected their eggs. My friends and I fed the bull, and cultivated many plants including fennel, celery, chicory, lettuce, cabbage, mint, parsley, and green spring onions! The farmer, Emanuele, brought us to the farm where he gets manure from horses and cows. In addition, he showed us the organic vegetable fertilizer he uses. Plus, he showed us a specific salt he uses that he turns into the soil to give the plants many nutrients. This one day so far has taught me so much! I am so excited to learn more and this may encourage me to plant my own garden when I return home!
By Angela Piccinich