Yesterday was the last day of our harvest and it sure has been an interesting year in the vineyard. We brought in 7,500 pounds of grapes (about 50/50 Petite Syrah and Zinfandel), up from 2,800 pounds last year. Next year there will likely be 15,000 pounds to harvest. Doesn’t even bear thinking about now – we’re exhausted!
Over the course of the harvest which began September 25th, and carried on over several days to end yesterday, we had many wonderful volunteers come to help, about 45 in all, including a few neighbors, plus buyers and paid helpers. We began with 107 degree heat on September 25th and ended with a torrential thunder shower yesterday. In addition to working hard, our friends brought food, wine, a beautiful art gift, clippers and tremendous enthusiasm. While I was worrying about the rain dampening their spirits, they all thought it just added to the adventure!
We reward our volunteers with food and local wine, which included home baked goods from our friend and Charter Member, Janet. There was quiche, hard boiled eggs, muffins, BLTA Salad, breads, fruit, juices, chips, salsa, beer, and water served, as well as a few bandaids. We ended the day yesterday at the home of wine making friends at Ramona Ranch Winery, for barbecue and more wine with several other grape growers and wine makers and their friends.
So today we’re cleaning up, putting things away and tending to our 2010 Vintage of wine. We had planned to make wine from 500 pounds of grapes, but now have about 750 pounds, crushed and destemmed in 7 Brute trash cans in the dining room – er… winery! We will add yeast nutrients and yeast later today to get the “must” cooking, and converting the sugar in the grapes to alcohol. Whoo hoo!