I hope this finds everyone well and looking forward to the holiday season. After fielding many questions I trust this email can answer some of them as well as provide an update on a few odds and ends.
Firstly, Florence has come and gone and it definitely was not a lot of fun arriving smack in the middle of harvest. But as I noted earlier, we chose to let our bigger reds hang as they had not fully ripened yet. We took some serious body shots and were definitely staggered by a haymaker, but we fought on and I am pleased to say that the remaining grapes that were able to weather the storm turned out great. Unfortunately, we just don't have a lot of them. Such is the nature of farming and this is why one of my favorite expressions is: "There are no farmers who are atheists as we are always praying for something."
On a related vineyard note I must regrettably report that our experiment with planting Nero D'Avola from Sicily has failed. Having planted 4,000 vines in various locations on the property none survived the cold Januarys. I knew this was a risk when I started, but I gambled anyway and lost. In its place we are planting Barbera a far more cold tolerant variety that produces a similar high acid taste profile.
On a more positive note, after thirteen years of begging, pleading, and cajoling the DoT has finally paved all of Groce Road (see photo above). So for the very first time you will have an entirely dust-free experience when visiting Raffaldini. I have never had my patience tested so much but in the end (I guess) it was worth it.
Finally on a personal note those of you who know me well are aware that the decision by Coca Cola to selectively phase out the soda TaB has left me reeling. After drinking eight cans a day EVERY day for thirty eight years I am a bit unsure how to proceed as I simply cannot stand the taste of water and other sodas just don't measure up. If anyone is able to secure a twelve pack of this heavenly-made beverage, I am willing to swap one bottle of Sangiovese (value $29) for every twelve pack delivered to Raffaldini. .