Time for “Harvest”!

It’s Harvest Time in Umbria – fungi, olives and grapes

Autumn months in Umbria are often heavily associated with truffles, which often overshadow an even more tasty seasonal treat, the mushroom “fungi”. Found all over the forest floor close to our wonderful hotel Aethos Saragano, our head chef and mast “fungi” hunter Delfina, has been foraging mushrooms her entire life, and still today screens all the day’s find by her 80 year old grandmother to make sure only the best naturally produced and harvested mushrooms make it onto the guests’ plates. This year turned out to be a great year for harvesting mushrooms, and most of our guests in October were able to participate with Delfina in the search for all types of mushrooms, and learn about which ones were which, and also enjoy the beautiful forest where all the mushrooms are found.

And, you cannot talk about harvesting in Umbria without talking about the annual harvest of Olives, which sees the locals literally drop everything else and turn to the harvesting of all the many many olive trees found stretched over the hillsides of the region. Starting in late September, and stretching to November, the harvest of Olives involves nearly all members of the local families and is always celebrated by a big feast when one farm or patch of Olives has been successfully harvested. Aethos Saragano is fortunate enough to own its own trees, and every year our guests take part in the harvest and can see the whole process of harvesting to pressing, to eating the first press (the best) of the season! Our very own Francesco is on hand to discuss all and every detail as well as take a tour of the local oil press which is the heart of the region at this time of year.
Last but not least is the core to a great feast, and that’s the annual grape harvest, which stretches from early August to late October, depending on the grape variety. Although Saragano and the surrounding region of Umbria is famous for the local Sagratino Grape, there are more and more wineries experimenting with multiple grape varieties, such as Sangieovese (the most common and best known grape of Tuscany), Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Grechetto, to name just a few! Aethos Saragano is fortunate to have it very own Sommelier, Eva, who is works closely with the neighboring vineyards, and always gets involved with the local harvest so that the guests can participate in the wonderful world of wine!
At Aethos, we always engage our staff with our guests via activities that are both found locally, but also are fundamental to the way of life of the hotel, be it mushroom hunting, olive picking, gardening, and of course cooking! Experiences are always better when they involve learning, and are taught by people who are passionate about the activity.

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