Forget Snickers, Smarties, and the dreaded penny from that lame house around the corner; it's harvest time!
Lynne and I were invited to a friend's vineyard, Two Barns Farm, to help with the harvest today, a Tom Sawyer-esque bargain we were only too happy to take advantage of. The rains have come to the Pacific Northwest, but thankfully gave us a break this morning. It was cool and foggy, giving the grapes a sparkling cover of dew when the sun broke through. Pinot was taken off the vine last week; today was Riesling.
Having never experienced a grape harvest we were coached on using our shears to snip the plump, sweet clusters from the vine, carefully checking for mold before dumping them in our buckets. from there we wiped our sticky, juice-covered hands and transferred our bounty to the FYBs, or "F'n Yellow Bins", so called because they will only stack properly in one direction, which ultimately, is always the second direction you try to place them in.
After another sort for mold it was to the barn where the FYBs were weighed and put through the crusher; stems separated and the remaining slop went to the linen-lined press.
From the press, the juice (tasting strongly of apples and sweet enough to induce diabetes right there on the spot) was poured into containers to ferment and go from grape juice to pure awesomeness. (well really, is there any other way to describe the result?)
Such a great experience to help with the process in person. Unfortunately, we missed going back into the vineyard for a run of Chardonnay because we had to get back home to make sure our own little demons got to have their fun as well.
Sheesh, who do they think this holiday is for anyway?