The clouds kept the blistering heat away Saturday morning and we had a great group of friends and family stop by to help pick for our first official weekend of Harvest 2013! And, boy did they pick! We finished ahead of schedule and delivered our first variety, Brianna, to our winery. The extreme heat from the previous week has really helped to develop the sugars in the last few days and weeks, and our grapes are looking, smelling, and tasting great! If you haven't had the chance to visit a vineyard to pick grapes, it's actually a much more enjoyable experience than people might think (no comments from the peanut gallery! :) It definitely is work, since we harvest all of the grapes by hand, but there's a sense of teamwork that takes place and the conversations can just get hilarious! And, for families of children...it's a great way to introduce a different environment and different type of work, while being a safe environment. We use grape forks that are safer than pruners, and only have a Gator and mower to haul in grapes...thus, not having large equipment to cause concern. We have a HUGE weekend ahead of us, as we will be picking half of our vineyard in one weekend! But, the cooler weather should make the mornings comfortable, and we'll pick 'til we drop!
We are looking forward to a great 2013 season! It is still COLD outside, and if it doesn't warm up soon, pruning will be a very cold event this spring! But, we are excited to be a more mature vineyard as we enter our 5th year, and have more "tamed" vines as we begin to prune them. So, before we officially begin our season, I wanted to showcase some of my mom's creative talent...in the wine-making department, as well as creative marketing. ;-) Here are some labels for our home wine. We can't sell it yet, but we might as well make it look as good as it tastes! And, I happen to personally LOVE the names. ;-)