We had a great turn-out for our first harvest of the year, 21 people! We met in Mark’s Vineyard at first light and greeted the sun as it crested above the Creston hills. We were also graced by the light of a full moon to our west just setting as the sun was rising. It was an incredible feeling, having both the moon and sun with us. We had the traditional morning fare: Spanish Tortilla, homemade Grappa and strong espresso to fortify ourselves for the work ahead.
Harvest completely surprised us this year, arriving so early! Here we are–in the business specifically to harvest grapes to make wine and we are time and again caught unawares! We nurture each vine every year to produce it’s very best fruit for us and then we run around like chickens with our heads cut off because at the last moment the grapes are ripening. Thank goodness, all of our equipment was ready to go: picking bins cleaned, tractors in position, new & old barrels primed, the pump working perfectly, etc. etc. And a host of people to help!
The Viognier was an easier pick than Tempranillo, as we picked Temp. last and the day was rapidly beginning to warm and legs were sore from walking the steep hill. Also, Tempranillo is a crazy vine and you have to really get in there to get the clusters. But we were able to get the grapes picked and into the winery by 9:30–pretty impressive.
And our wonderful volunteers get to get their feet a bit wet! We immediately crushed the white and ferment it in a puncheon (a double oak barrel), but we allow all of our reds to ferment in open top bins until they ferment “dry” (no alcohol)–then we’ll crush them and transfer the juice into barrels (usually 7 to 10 days later).
Thank You’s: Dennis (#1 picker), Plourd’s, Sowerby’s, Glenn, Bob and Jazzy, Jason, Joan, Matt, Calem, Bryan, Ian, Mark Wallach, Robert, Lety & Gustavo, and my hubby.