Harvest 2017!

Harvest started early this morning! The pickers arrived before daybreak and finished their coffee in their cars. The sun came up and all were working!

 

We quickly started filling the totes set up on the trailer.

Each of the 4 totes take about 600 lbs. of fruit.

The pickers each have a card that is punched for every 2 buckets they dump into the tote. There is a lot of camaraderie as pickers compete with each other to pick the most buckets. It always surprises me how quickly the totes are filled, how hard everyone works and how much laughter there is.

We pick out the leaves as the buckets are dumped.

If under ripe fruit was picked, that is also tossed out! Good opportunity to do quality control.

 

Max is driving tractor this year. As he runs one load to the winery the pickers are filling the next set of totes. We try and finish picking by about 11am. That keeps the fruit cool and fresh.

 

It is only a quick trip and the fruit arrives at the winery to be processed!

This morning we picked 8 tons – 4 trailers. Now the totes are ready to be spread out for tomorrow morning!

If possible we’ll treat you to freshly squeezed grape juice as you experience the harvest. Come join in the fun.

Harvest Thoughts

We’ve been preparing for the grape harvest for weeks – new equipment procured , old readied, barrels emptied of the last vintage, etc. We forget sometimes how much more there is to the harvest season than grapes. My family is German and fall means “zwetchen Kuchen” or plum cake. My mother didn’t bake much but come fall the old German cookbook came out and cake was baked. When I was a child she’d invite her German friends over and there was much visiting about the old country and the new.

I picked the plums this morning and made the cake before coming up to the winery. Hope everyone will enjoy it!

The fall flowers are special too. It has been a dry year in Oregon and the grass has turned brown however suddenly fall flowers come bursting from the hard Jory soil! The butterflies, bumble bees, honey bees all need the nectar that comes with these flowers to make their own food for the winter.  In doing so they will be ready to pollinate the plums again in the spring for the next harvest.

These are fall crocus but look too for the goldenrod, asters, California poppies. Watch the bumble bees – and if you are lucky you will see where the queen ducks into her nest in the ground. Maybe you will see a monarch butterfly migrating.

The vintage is looking good as it comes in from the vineyard. The next few weeks will be busy ones here in the winery with special foods and wines and also special friends. Come be a part of the harvest.  We would love to see you at the harvest party Sept. 30!

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