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News from Porto Ercole (Updated 9-11-2016)

by Stephen Kaye
Thu Sep 8th, 2016

Photos by Stephen Kaye

Thu Sep 8th, 2016

The sea is calm. It is not wine dark today. It is more like a Picasso blue. It can be wine dark at sunset when the sun bounces off the cumulus clouds that gather over the mainland. The hills are hazy blue in the morning as they glide gently into the distance. A dark hulled sloop that must be 60 feet long with a tall mast anchored mysteriously off shore. What prince of nefarious transactions does it belong to? What secrets are hidden in its luxurious cabins? When I walk along the beach in the early morning I pass two women walking and talking. One is conducting a monologue about something that takes a long time to tell. What could possibly take that long I ask myself. Her voice is pleasant, her sentences roll on like the sea itself, gentle, calm and patient. Her companion is of the same age, listening and walking. They go on by me as I stop to take in the sloop and wonder on its purpose. Its mast is a curiosity it is so high. It has plenty of freeboard. They walk into the distance and out of sight as I turn and head home for breakfast.
There are no fishermen on the beach this morning. I miss them. Perhaps there are no fish.


Sun Sep 11th, 2016

The hills of the Maremma show the stages of September's harvest - the golden fields where harvested wheat leaves stubble of straw and the plowing and planting that follows soon after. These landscape patterns are repeated all over Tuscany.

Neatly tended vines in the Morellino do Scansano DOC show the care of viniculture in this area. The vintage of 2016 is expected to be half normal because of the driness. But the quality could be exceptional.