The irony of being a writer in this winemaking business is that when there is so very much rich detail to share, there is an inversely proportional amount of time with which to share it! And so I have compiled a photo journal with captions to offer you a visual glimpse of this most adrenalin-rich time of year! Enjoy!
This is a harvest season for the record books here in Central Virginia. Trying to pick fruit between earthquakes, hurricanes and tropical storms makes for strong vintners!! An earthquake! Here? I have never in my life felt the earth shake under my feet. I was out on our deck and with a jolt, the house started shaking. I thought the washing machine was "tilting" out of control until I remembered I wasn't doing any laundry. With a growing cresendo of shaking, trembling, rattling I suddenly realized an earthquake was underfoot. And it was growing in intensity. I grabbed onto the railing for the security of it. I looked across the valleys to the mountain ranges in the distance and wondered if they were shaking too. For a flash I thought the view such a beautiful image if it were to be my last. At that moment the rising crescendo of the trembling earth reversed. I could feel the shaking diminish in my grip of the railing and felt the last little tremor wither away. We had just harvested our Pinot Noir two days earlier and I wondered if there was any damage down in the winery... a concern I, never in my life, would have anticipated... that our grapes in our winery might be damaged by an earthquake!? All was fine.
Within a week we were facing Hurricane Irene. Here in the mountains we watched with relief as she churned just to our east. And she gifted us with some amazing clouds swirling south that I captured with my camera. And then Tropical Storm Lee wreaking the most havoc with winegrowers in Central VA, dousing us with downpours just as grapes are ripening all across the land. We were able to get all our Pinot and Chard in before the deluge. Sigh...
Below, Hurricane Irene's beautiful side. What these images can't capture is the movement of the clouds. They were all streaming left to right (north to south) as if each cloud formation was racing to catch the cloud ahead of it. It was absolutely breathtaking.
And next... The Harvest!
Our Pinot Noir "undressed" and ready to be harvested!