A personal perpsective of life in our Virginia vineyard... Christine Wells Vrooman



Autumn Colors the Vineyard


Crisp and golden leaves
Tired, relinquishing life
Fall softly to earth

 A quiet, crispness fills the silence of this evening's vineyard stroll.  Crunching grape leaves underfoot and lonely autumn crickets are all that's heard.  The birds are silent.  The constant whirr of cicadas and katydids are just a memory of sultry summer nights that remain vivid in my mind. But now the days are noticeably shorter, the nights becoming chilly, the sun is rising far to the south.  Soon the vines will sleep for a nice, long while.

I wonder, as I look at the nearly naked canes and stems, how much vigor the weaker vines were able to store in their roots for next season.  Will they finally come on strong next year, or is there just something inherent in the soil in certain areas of the vineyard that are holding them back?  No one seems to know for sure.  With this year's additional root growth and catching up, hopefully there will be a bit more uniformity to their vigor and size next year.  And with it a more abundant crop.  This was a good year.  They had abundant sunshine, were disease free, were irrigated when needed.  It was in fact a very good year.  Hopefully we will see the results in next year's crop.  In the meantime we wait for the wine from this, our very first season, to develop its inherent qualities and unique expression of all that has brought it to this point.

I have always loved searching the clouds for imaginary figures that feed my imagination.  In this image can you see the bank of angel faces looking down on the vines? 

And Dear ol' Dan... Somewhere along the way, he has lost his grooming skills and has turned into a muddy, gnarly, nearly dread-locked mutt!  He is getting on in years and I cherish the moments we have together.  He is still effective in his guarding duties, although he does now leave the chasing up to Bella while he, without moving a paw, sits and barks at whatever merits his warning!

Ol' ragged Dan!

Oh pretty Bella!

The sheep now roam freely during the daylight hours and every morning I find they have hiked the half mile up the mountain side to graze around the house and enjoy a bit of a different view from up here on the ridge. 

And I was excited today to find this tasty little morsel left on the vine.  It was puckered and nibbled on, but still was a delicious, unexpected sweet treat.

I cannot end this post without including the most magnificent of mornings I enjoyed yesterday. There had been much talk about the fall colors being non-existent this year due to the severe shortage of rainfall.  And up till a few days ago, there really was not much color, and here it was almost November.  But in a near explosion of color, after receiving over two inches of rain the previous day and night, the sun rose and illuminated the most spectacular fall morning.  Ignition!  We have color.. spectacular color that nearly popped overnight and will probably dissipate as quickly as it arrived. In typical years, I've noticed the red-leafed trees lose their leaves before the yellows and golds come on. But this year they all came together for a most unusual and spectacular burst of color.
So here you are.  What gifts such scenes are, a feast for the eyes.  Enjoy!

Next:  Soon we should be getting a sneak taste from the barrels of wine!  Oh, be still my heart!

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