Subject: Skiathos, Greece [Fwd: The September Skiathos Newsletter]
FYI - Forwarded by Moderator

-------- Original Message -------- Subject: The September Skiathos Newsletter Date: Tue, 7 Sep 1999 07:22:27 +0300

From: Geof Baldry To:

Hello and welcome to the Skiathos Newsletter.

September is with us and Skiathos is starting to feel a little cooler, a little less full and that autumn is on it's way.

You sun lovers may not appreciate the slightly cooler weather that September brings but those of us who work here breathe a sigh of relief. Don't worry, there is still lots of sun around and bodies are still tanning well. It's just so much nicer with a little breeze to keep the sweat at bay.

We have had a little rain but not really enough to fill out the olives and the trees are starting to drop half formed fruit as they realise they cannot bring them all to ripeness. Nevertheless, it looks like a good olive year and will keep us with bent backs, grovelling on the ground for several months, as we harvest the crop.

The sea is still amazingly warm and even far out from the shore, spray from the catamaran hulls (when she is really trucking), feels like a warm shower.

This is really the golden month as the leaves start to turn, the beaches are less full and the locals have a bit of money in their pockets and more time to relax and be friendly.

It is also the grape harvest time when we turn those clusters of light and dark grapes into the most delicious (we hope) wine. I have spent two days picking, crushing and pressing our first crop which produced around 80 kilos of (potential) wine. We no longer tread the grapes in the traditional way as it takes a long time and does not get the full amount of juice out of the grapes. Now we use a hand crusher and hand press and it all goes a lot faster. Note the caution when referring to the (potential) wine amount. So many things can go wrong with wine making that it is always better not to count your bottles until you have drunk them! We have made lots of (excellent) VINEGAR in our time :o)

The locals tend to start drinking their wine around the time of the celebration of Panayia Kounistra towards the end of November, and a heady brew it is too then, as it is still extremely young! We try and keep ours, at least, until Christmas before we start drinking it and hope that it lasts until Easter....usually it doesn't! Sitting in front of the fire in the winter, sipping a glass of liquid sunshine, reminds us of the summer that is on it's way again.

Incidentally, vines do not only produce grapes for wine and eating but also a beautiful, dappled shade that naturally fills in as the spring turns to summer and conveniently disappears in autumn to allow the winter sun through. Vine prunings also make wonderful barbecue charcoal and add a scented flavour to barbecued meat and vegetables. I can understand why the Greeks say that the vine was a gift of the gods.

There is not much other news. Skiathos has had a reasonable season despite the Kosovo effect which certainly kept quite a lot of people away. The walking season is beginning again and Skiathos has much to show people who are prepared to make a little extra effort.

New pages this month: Accommodation:

Lots of people here want pages made this month and next, so don't forget to keep checking the web site. Several more accommodation possibilities are due to be added and lots more property is coming onto the market.

As ever, I hope you have had (or are looking forward to) a good holiday and that Skiathos will remain high on your list of best places to visit.

No sunshine included in this newsletter this time, just a whiff of grape juice fermenting.



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