Photo: Giovanni Carpini
Late November...it's that time of year in Italy where Italians are celebrating the olive harvest and the pressing of the fresh, new olive oil. In various regions, a sprightly, young vino novello is bottled following a snappy fermentation. The divine smell of the white truffle fills the air at local festivals. Of course the arrival of these "new" ingredients–essential to Italian daily life–provides yet another exceptional excuse for a darn good party.
The grape harvest, or vendemmia, is an important and deeply-rooted Italian cultural tradition where local producers begin harvesting the fruit of their labor. It is an evocative time to travel to Italy; hillsides are cloaked in ready-to-pick grapes, and a fragrance of fermenting wine permeates the air as you cycle along quiet country roads.