Hello to everybody in 2016! Things are looking up so far: got book 1 of the 52 books in a year challenge done, short Thailand family vacay and one interview (WOOT!) down, and now my first WSET Level 1 course tonight. Lest I say more I should keep recapping last year's European adventures before they slip out of the head...
Mulini di Segalari is located in Castagneto-Carducci, Tuscany, Italy. Luckily it was a relatively easy direct regional train ride away from Grosseto. The area looks completely different even though it's a mere one hour westward, closer to the sea by Livorno. You still have the rolling hills, but everywhere is much more densely populated and has less wide vistas. It was my realisation on the particular effects of terroir—how drastic a region can change over such small distance and the resulting taste of the wine. Castagneto-Carducci is also located right by Bolgheri, which is the town of famous Super Tuscans such as Sassicaia and Ornellaia. (I visited the latter, which would be included in a following blog post.)
Mulini di Segalari was certainly MUCH more different than my experience at Potentino. It is run by a Italian family from Florence, with one permanent worker that was only present on the weekend. WWOOFer-wise, there was only me and one other (also Canadian) girl; we later got joined by two young Danes during my last week. Although it was still harvesting at large, the grapes and the process were hugely different. Firstly, the varietals grown here were 90% French: cabernet, merlot, syrah, petit verdot and the other 10% Italian grapes were: sangiovese; the whites: vermentino and white manzoni. The main owner of the vineyard, Marina, was very specific in the way we should handle and and harvest the grapes. She emphasized taking our time, using our hands (as opposed to wearing our gloves and snipping away) and feeling each individual grape for ripeness and mold. The entire process was a lot slower, but I grew more sensitive to eachs vine, really feeling and tasting each bunch for the best. After a few days in, I could not be more glad that I switched vineyards because I felt my knowledge jumped and it was here that I decided I wanted to work in wine.
My WWOOFing experience was the ideal WWOOF experience. I met not only Marina and her family but also her surrounding neighbors and their WWOOFees that came to help out some days on the harvest when we needed more hands on deck. There was a huge sense of community all working for the same goal, as opposed to the modern, more fragmented, urban society. I hope to WWOOF again, in vineyards in France in particular should I get a chance to pursue higher education in Europe. If there is interest, I would love to make a WWOOF guide. Let me know!
Mulini di Segalari, Bologheri Superiore 2012, D.O.C.
Region: Castagneto-Carducci. Varietal: Merlot 70%, Cabernet Sauvignon 15%, Petit Verdot 10%, Syrah 5%
Not as full bodied, slightly more acidic, sweet in the middle but tart on the finish