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The vinyard harvest

I spent this Saturday at Dan and Diane’s place helping them with their yearly harvest of grapes for their upcoming Cabernet (which I must comment, the best Cabernet I’ve ever had was from their harvest two years earlier). Dan, Diane, Bernadette, Tom, Teresa, and Carrol spent a wonderful day harvesting this year’s crop then enjoying a few bottles of wine from previous year’s harvests.

If you are not familiar with the process; The grapes are harvested at the end of summer as their sugar content becomes high enough for a decent alchohol content in the wine, but before the grapes turn to rasins. The harvested grapes are then crushed and de-stemmed, the native yeast is killed off; winemaking yeast is added, then it’s stored where it can oxigenate for a few weeks. It’s then transferred to a sealed tank where it can off-gas but no oxegen can enter.. Then it’s bottled and a year or two after coming off the vine it’s a beautiful bottle of wine.

It was a fabulous weather for harvesting, as we had a cold front roll though which kept the tempuratures low and the hot sun at bay with a bank of clouds. Dan and Tom have been working over the years to perfect their home-grown wines and it’s amazing to see them working on the chemistry and mathematics involved in producing that oh-so-perfect bottle of wine. If I knew yardwork was so fun I may have reconsidered owning a home and settling down!