Starting at the end of the summer, Sardinia is all about harvesting the grape to produce the wine that will wash the meals all next year.
Earlier this year I had visited a wine cave, where owners enlightened my journey through the history and the mysteries of wine-making in Sardinia with facts, myths, and anecdotes, its links with the Middle East and its importance to society.
The harvest usually happens around the end of September, when the grapes are collected and prepared to be smashed and made into wine. This year I was invited with my parents to the lunch that follows the harvest, where all people who helped gather and divide the grapes by color are invited by the owner of the land.
We didn’t help, we actually went when the harvest was nearly done and lunch was ready to be served, but he’s a longtime friend of ours and he invites every year just to enjoy and celebrate with him.
Pietro, 70-something years old, is possibly one of the most picturesque characters I know in Sardinia, and being a native, I do know a good share of our 1.5 million population. When I need some herbs and want to learn how to use them, I know I can rely on Pietro’s knowledge on our native plants. Similarly, when I want to explore our ancestral myths and know supernatural stories (and see how they extract rosemary essential oil!), I’m positive that Pietro will make me travel around 2000-year-ago Sardinia, experience pre-Christian rituals and sense what we have lost that he didn’t in reconnecting with nature. If it’s true that natives are the ones who better than anyone else know the intimate secrets of a place, in Oristano province and Fordongianus territory, that native is Pietro Zedda.
Last year I wasn’t home during the harvest, but this year I couldn’t miss it. And obviously, I couldn’t miss taking a small video to give you a hint of the vibe of the day.