Like every year, August is one of the most crucial moments to experience in the Sicilian countryside: two important moments begin: the almond harvest and the grape harvest. In the countryside of Sergio, Marianna, Maria and Giovanni delicate and exciting moments are experienced, the work of an entire year has borne fruit which now is the time to harvest.
Pizzuta almonds from Avola
Pizzuta di Avola is a variety known for its elongated and pointed shape, as well as for its rich and aromatic flavour . It is considered one of the most valuable in the world and its cultivation is a centuries-old tradition that represents an important part of the agricultural economy of Sicily.
The Noto area, in the province of Syracuse, is one of the main cultivation areas of the Pizzuta di Avola almond. The harvest usually takes place towards the end of summer or early autumn, when the fruits reach the right ripeness.
This is done by mechanically shaking the trees or manually, as the particular shape of these almonds requires extra attention to avoid damage during the harvesting process. They are then detached from the branches of the trees and separated from the outer hull, its "skin".
Pizzuta di Avola almonds are not only appreciated for their flavor and versatility in the kitchen, but they are also a key ingredient in many traditional Sicilian recipes, such as sweets, pastas and savory dishes. This variety of almonds is also renowned for its high content of nutrients and antioxidants , which make them a fundamental and one of the most appreciated element of the diet.
Boniviri almonds are made thanks to the skilful work of Sergio and Marianna and their extreme care for the environment and people. The trees have reached the third generation of production thanks to the choice to cultivate them non-intensively, thus preserving an immeasurable heritage of taste and biodiversity.
The harvest of Mamertino DOC and Etna Bianco DOC
The Boniviri harvest begins at dawn, very early, when the nose is pinched by the saltiness and the sun has begun to dominate the darkness for a few minutes.
In general, the early morning harvest aims to preserve the quality of the grapes and to maximize the desired characteristics in the finished wine. This is particularly important for wines such as Mamertino and Carricante, which require special attention to best capture the unique characteristics of the grapes and terroir.
Cooler Temperature : Morning temperatures are usually cooler than the hottest part of the day. This is particularly important to maintain the freshness and quality of the grapes during the harvest. The grapes harvested in a cool morning are less subject to oxidation and unwanted fermentation, thus preserving the natural aromas and flavors of the grapes. Maria, for her Mamertino for example, collects them in small 16 kg boxes and uses ice to transport them to the cellar, to preserve them at their best.
Preservation of acidity : Grapes harvested in the morning often have better natural acidity. This is a valuable attribute for the production of balanced and fresh wines. Acidity contributes to the wine's structure and liveliness, so harvesting in the morning can help preserve this important element.
Less evaporation of the aroma : Lower temperatures in the morning reduce the rate of evaporation of the natural aromas of the grapes. This means that the grapes harvested during these hours can more effectively preserve the aromas and flavors that will influence the finished wine.
Easier work for grape pickers : The manual work of picking grapes can be physically demanding, and cooler morning temperatures can make the activity more comfortable for grape pickers. Also, avoiding the hottest part of the day can help prevent overstrain.
Better management of the workload : Harvesting the grapes early in the morning can allow for better organization of the daily activities in the cellar. After harvesting, the grapes must be processed quickly to avoid spoilage problems. Harvesting in the morning allows you to start processing in a shorter time, ensuring more efficient management of the workload.
The pop up in Rinascente Milan, until 28 August
Until 28 August in Rinascente Milan, the dedicated Boniviri pop-up will be available on the 7th floor Food Hall with Pizzuta di Avola almonds and Audace e Garbato organic extra virgin olive oil for tasting. The installation is dedicated precisely to the August harvest: in the centre, the hand-woven wicker basket full of fresh almonds in shell, alongside two places ready to welcome farmers to rest from their hard work.
An opportunity to get to know the products of the invaluable work of farms up close and to taste them over the weekend, for a small journey of taste in our land of extremes, in this period more than ever.