Friday, November 14, 2008

Harvest in the Valley Part II

Glorious, glorious day. We were invited to help some very good friends of ours harvest their very first batch of grapes. This was the official beginning of "My Fathers Vineyard" A dream coming true for a couple who moved to Prosser 3 years ago to get involved in the local wine industry.

When we drove up to the vineyard on an early Sunday morning I knew we were in for a very special day.
The air was crisp and cold, but the glorious sun was shining brightly. I just adored being right smack dab in the middle of that huge vineyard. You all know how I love being "In a Garden" feeling close to my Creator and all , well being in a vineyard on that beautiful morning was just like being kissed by heaven itself.And the grapes, I could not get over all the luscious fruit hanging so abundantly on the vines. Picking it was such a pleasure and so easy. We just placed these large yellow lugs underneath the vine and started cutting away. In just a few hours we had pick about 2 tons of grapes. You couldn't help but think about the Master pruner and how His pruning technique is gear for fruitful abundance, both on the vine and in our lives. Here are some of the folks we picked with, the tall man in the middle is the wine maker John G. and my husband on the left. Following is a pictorial journal of our day.
Dan laying out some of the lugs. After we picked the grapes John drove a tracker through the vineyard to pick up all the lugs and load them on the truck.

John had tagged the rows he wanted to harvest earlier in the season at the vineyard. We pick three rows of Syrah grapes.
I partnered up with a teenage gal, and she I practically pick a whole row ourselves. We were both into it and had such fun being fast and efficient.
Here is one of her brothers bringing us some more lugs. Believe it or not this guy walking towards me is our family hairdresser! Here is my young friend and her mom.
Back at the winery starting the processes of de-stemming the grapes for juice.

This fancy shaker table, the first one of its kind in the U.S. so I was told, shook off the remaining stems as the just the grapes dropped through for extra clean fruit. Which keeps the wine from getting too acidic .

stem waste
and the just the pure fruit coming out...
Inside the winery the juice is being pumped into the large vats.
This was a fascinating wall of key type things that went to the valves and such???? John's brand new imported oak barrels. I should explain that my friend John works at this winery Monday -Saturday and on Sundays they allow him use of the facility to make and store his own wine.
The best part of the day was still to come as we let the men finish up at the winery and the woman folk headed back to fix a wonderful feast for all. We found ourselves enjoying a great meal, some wonderful personal reserve wine of the winemaker, fellowship and fun with new and old friends. I was having such a great time I forgot to take a picture of the meal back at the house. We had stuffed shells, salad , and I made some of my homemade bruschetta, and another gal bake a beautiful apple crisp, topped with ice cream.
I wondered to myself if this was how my Italian ancestors felt when they came together in the old world for the grape harvest. For me it was a most perfect and glorious day of shared work, good friends, good food and wonderful time of fellowship!

8 comments:

Alice said...

What a wonderful day it must have been. Your photos are so interesting and beautiful. Those grapes seemed to just know what their purpose in life was.

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

It looked like you had a great time. The grapes are so beautiful! I love the colors and their texture. I know you and your husband must have had so much fun.

Knitting Mania said...

Oh sis, what beautiful photo's, your day looked absolutely wonderful.

As I was reading all your captions I was thinking, wow John has an amazing place there, and didn't realize that his operation was so big and professional, BUT then you clarified that he worked there and was allowed to use the facility on Sunday's, what a nice privilege.

I bet our ancestors did just this.

Lavinia said...

I kept skipping over this post, not realizing it was part 2. What amazing photos. Its a real operation. I will remember this the next time I crack open a bottle of wine. All the hard work and efforts of many people to produce that bottle that winds up on my table.

Sara said...

Those grapes are such an intriguing shade of deep blue...I love how they look!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

How did I miss the party? This looks like such a marvelous day and to enjoy a meal all together at the end of such a day must have been delightful.

It's very interesting to see something like this because there's nothing like that here, unless one counts apple-picking and cider-making. I don't. :D

Added more to the furniture painting post today. Thought you might be interested. Best wishes with your project!

Becky K. said...

I am so glad Vee put a link to your blog in her post.

This looks so wonderful.

I love the look of grapes hanging on a vine. It must have smelled divine!

Thanks for the tour...fascinating and fun!

Becky K.

Barbara said...

This looks like a real fun day and I was thinking how like a day in Italy it must be when you came to that conclusion yourself at the end.

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