The Cascina 10-K

Good Evening!  Or Good Afternoon, your time :).

It’s been busy here at Cascina Zerbetta.  Yesterday I helped Paolo clean the wine cellar from the vendemmia this year.  This essentially involves power-washing EVERYTHING.  And carting the grape sludge leftover in the tanks to the compost piles.  And sweeping and washing and bottling and you NAME IT!  Paolo let the grape sludge leak into buckets which I then moved to the compost pile.  This sludge was wild though, it looked exactly like purple paint.  I had to wonder if that’s what they used to paint the house!

Once all the sludge leaked out, we opened the tanks at both the top and the bottom and power washed the inside to rinse out any leftover sludge and let some oxygen in.  Afterwards, Paolo CLIMBED IN THE HATCH at the bottom with his power washer and a light and cleaned the inside.  The temperature jumped to 40 degrees celsius which is HOT.  We repeated this with three other vats and then put more wine in the barrels.  Once all of the vats were cleaned and the sludge outside, we cleaned down the floors and the other tools used in the vendemmia.  I have pictures of the sludge and Paolo in the tank, but they’re on my phone which is always being difficult, so they’ll show up eventually.

After the work day was done, I went for a run which was totally beautiful but I’ll get to that later.

Today we finished spreading compost in the Barbera vines.  I learned that Paolo has 7 hectares (17 acres) of land.  A lot of it is vines and hazelnuts, but there is a large portion that is just grassland.  This afternoon I worked in the garden planting lettuce, watering the new plants, picking figs and green beans, and basically admiring the nice day.  I have to say I can’t wait to start a vegetable garden.  It’s all so therapeutic.  I did notice, however, that the zucchini flowers were rotting by the zucchini plants and I almost cried thinking about how delicious they would have been stuffed with ricotta and fried.  Or in risotto.  Sigh.

Again, after we finished I went for a run.  And here is where I’m going to take a break from trip talk, and talk running. It’s so beautiful here in the country that I swear I’m on one of the Runner’s World ‘Rave Runs’.  These are basically just trails in insanely beautiful areas around the world that you only get to go to if you magically end up in that area for something else.  It is completely unlikely I’ll ever make it to a RW rave run.  Therefore, I am starting my own ‘Rave Run’ list of places I’ve run and want to remember.  Number one would be the time Mer and I ran around the tidal basin as the cherry blossoms were blooming.  Wow, that was amazing.  Number two is in Glasgow along the River Clyde.  Three, is hands-down along Strada Bozzola in Quargnento, Italy.  It’s gravel and dirt roads most of the way, which is really nice to run on, and you just have views upon views of vineyards, rolling hills, poplar orchards, and cute Italian houses.  My best runs have been here, too.  I mean faster and easier.  I think it’s the non-polluted air and ton of pasta I’ve eaten.  (It could also be that Arco has come with me on every run and is pretty pushy).  Note to self for perfect race conditions.  Which led me to another thought:  I’m missing the Jingle All the Way 10k this year.  What a bummer.  BUT in honor of the AE running gang, I’m going to start training  for it anyway AND try to PR.  You all know who you are and I expect to hear how it went.

Ok, run talk over.  And I’m exhausted.  Oh, and will someone please drink a pumpkin latte on my behalf?  I want one SO BADLY.  Ciao ciao!





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