We look forward to harvest days all year long. The culmination of a year's work in the vineyard - winter pruning, suckering, shoot positioning, combing, pulling laterals, mulching, mowing and keeping tabs on the weather forecast - lead to this time of year. Harvest days are exciting and long, the winery again has that wine-yeasty aroma, and we take on the challenge anew to outwit the fruit flies.
Thanks to friends we picked our maréchal foch yesterday and about one-third of our marquette grapes on Wednesday. Gerry estimates adequate tank space and the forecast looks pretty good for getting the rest of the crop into tanks at the desired sugar levels.
Hands down, the very best part of harvest time is gathering with friends and family from near and far.
Our crush crew mingles among the vines and we get to catch up with each other. We marvel at how big the baby from last year is now, how families are growing, the past-time adventures of friends, and we notice cell phones are pocketed except to snap photos. We're often amazed at the number of topics we discuss while hand-harvesting the grapes.
When the lugs are filled and loaded on the wagon, the tractor pulls the load to the crush pad. Then the party begins! The slightly sticky crush crew heads to the tent for a meal provided by a local caterer. We enjoy the fruits of our labor and taste the result of previous year's harvests. This year our pickers will also taste tank samples of new wines - our first rosé and red blend.
A toast: Here's to friends who arrive at our vineyard in the early morning mist to traipse around the dewy vineyard ground and don't seem to mind getting splattered with grape juice. Here's to friends who appreciate local agriculture and help us.
Here's to special friends and special times! Thank you, and cheers!