Vertical vendemmia at Casa Fontana

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The title of this article “Vertical vendemmia at Casa Fontana”  probably does need some explaining and as you can hear in the interview with Ron Gauld recorded this morning in the garden outside Casa Fontana in Barga Vecchia,  there are some very good reasons why the grape picking was attempted  on a vine growing seven to eight metres above the ground  but unfortunately as you can well see in the video,  all did not go as planned.

Mounting to Muhammad or Mohammed to the mountain?  Instead of climbing up the seven to eight metres to pick the grapes,  the owner of the very successful bed-and-breakfast  establishment Casa Fontana decided to lower the vine with a system of wires and chains.

A slight technical hitch meant that one of nature’s oldest forces,  that of gravity came into play and the large vine with its abundant crop of ripe grapes came crashing to the ground.

Would Newton have smiled? maybe, but for certain Ron was not quite such a happy man this morning. Apples are one thing, grapes another.

In the end actually very few grapes actually hit the ground, most were picked quite easily, this time from a vine at chest height and not up in the clouds.

So, let’s see what next year brings.

If the vine starts to really get entwined with the iron fence around the balcony then it will be impossible to lower it down without doing some serious damage to the vine – they will have no choice but to pick up in the air .

Are we likely to see Ron abseiling down from the balcony with scissors in hand?  hmmm, now there’s an idea.


Ron Gauld speaking in his garden this morning

* Casa Fontana has been voted in the Top Ten B&Bs in Tuscany and the top 25 B&Bs in the whole of Italy – TripAdvisor Best Hotels 2012 Awards


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A useful reminder of Scotland’s outsized role in the history of modern engineering

Ron Gauld
Ron Gauld

Thanks Frank. Our ingenuity is without bounds. Imagine a forest of vines 8 to 10 metres high!! Think of the wine we could produce. And once we have a base on the moon they will even stay upright without support!