The Harvest or Crush (referring to picking and crushing the wine grapes), whether in Italy, California, or the Willamette Valley here in Oregon is one of my favorite seasons. This Wine Spectator article spells out some of the basics of the crush season.
We have been visiting Italy in the fall for the last couple of years to observe this beautiful time of year and take advantage of the harvest. Last year we were privileged to be able to participate and pick grapes for two vineyards albeit just for a few hours. It was a blast and we were able to walk away with all our digits intact. We gained a true appreciation for the professional/dedicated grape pickers.
When we moved from Southern California in 2006 we had no idea there was such a developed wine industry in Oregon. Statistics show that there are now close to 700 wineries in the state, which has doubled in the 10 years we have lived here. (So many wineries to visit, so little time!)
With our love of wine, we decided to grow some grapes of our own. The yard now has two grape vines that produced a few bundles of grapes this year. We’re looking forward to harvesting for wine in about 10 years – if we live that long! It does give one an incentive to live and something to look forward to, right? In the meantime, we’ll just enjoy the beauty of the plants.
When one of our favorite wineries had a “Blending Party,” in other words, make your own wine we were one of the first to sign up! Each table had everything you needed to blend three wines to create your own fusion of flavors and bottle it! We were given a lesson in winemaking and blending before starting. And also advised of a list of taxis available in case we “over-tasted” while producing our blend.
I believe everyone who attended this blending party had a great time. We certainly enjoyed it and took home a few bottles of our own blend that we think is fabulous! Can’t wait for the next blending party!