Thursday, October 3, 2013

The great grape harvest (part two)

Well Petit Clos’s first harvest of the Sauvignon Blanc grapes is under our belt…so to speak. The grape harvesting machine tractor arrived this morning at 7:45a.m. Last year, I had inspected the vines after the harvest and noticed that there were small bunches of grapes gathered at the wooden posts. The harvesting machine operated in a manner such that the “vibrating arm” must have bounced at each post. Well this year they got that glitch sorted out. After this huge tractor that straddles the vines was completed harvesting the vines, there were no grapes left hanging, left for me to sample.

Each of the last three years has been a mix of weather conditions. Two years ago there was a drought; last year there was a late frost; and this year we had horizontal blowing hail. This happened two days ago, nice cloudy day, nothing special then this black locust looking cloud approaching from the east. First the wind hit, then the rain added it’s two cents worth, then the wind raised the ante…well the rain thought; “fuck this…I’m going ballistic”.

I had run upstairs in the house to check on all the windows, thankfully they were all closed. I looked out one of the windows facing our driveway and saw it hit. First the rain was falling at a 15 degree angle, then the wind up the velocity, and then the horizontally bowing rain turned into ¼”inch hail.

Great Mother Nature’s having a pissing contest. (No…I don’t know with who…I just liked the imagery)

Well after getting the chainsaw out, and then cutting the two trees; that were blown over, and moving them out of the driveway. I proceeded to walk a kilometer (5/8’s of a mile) with the chainsaw and helped my neighbor cut up a thirty inch diameter tree that had blocked our main road. Then after lifting and clearing the main route I returned to the house and dropped off the chainsaw. I then took off my soaked sneakers and put on a dry pair of boots and walked to the vines.

I was thinking that if thirty inch trees were falling like dominoes; then my vines would be flattened. I arrived and started walking up one of the rows, no bad…if anything the wind seemed to have cleared the vines of any superfluous leaves. I was pleasantly surprised. And with closer inspection I saw that there were a lot more grapes than I originally presumed. There were about 15% of the grapes that were raisin-ey looking, another 15% that were tiny, and the rest looked vigorous. 

Overall the jury is still out. It will be months from now when we learn how many kilograms the vines yielded. We paid the harvester and the tractor with a grape bin trailer, 310 euro’s, and they drove the 12 kilometers to the winery. Last year was a smaller crop, so it will be interesting to see if I make more than $1.25 an hour.

Just returned from Bertico, winery and got my delivery ticket, it was about 20% more than last year. So I ‘m happy.

C est’ la Vie….It is the life.

1 comment:

  1. First, congrats on this harvest - albeit it sounded like a challenge! (and your account was hilarious...)

    Thank you so much for the compliment on my little story on JR's blog! It's amazing to me how many different stories people come up with for the same five words.