Time flies! I passed my first wine exam and feel a bit relieved now. My next exam is the blind tasting exam, but I have another month before I have to face that. So in the interim, let's go grape picking!
It's harvest season and my goal is to learn as much about grapes as I can!
I didn't want a sunburn nor insect bite marks, so I wore a long sleeve shirt and a hat with a towel wrapped closely around my neck for extra protection. It was a pretty hot day for my outfit, but it was worth it.
I was a bit late arriving to the vineyard so there were already a few people picking grapes there. With a few instructions from the leader and my scissors and gloves, I was ready.
They were picking Chardonnay today. The air in the vineyard had a rich sweet and sour aroma.
This was my first time to see and handle wine grapes up close like this. They were shiny, clustered very tightly together, and heavy. They look less watery than table grapes. It's easy to imagine how these grapes could become a nice wine.
I got to taste a few of them. They were sweet and fruity. Most Chardonnay grapes are made into a rich but neutral dry-type wine, Chardonnays are not fruity and sweet. Then I realize that in order to become an alcohol the grape sugars would need to be used up in the fermentation.
Those of us who were picking grapes used plastic containers as a stools while picking. The style used for training the grapes made it much easier to pick and collect the grapes, than trellis training would have. I was chatting with some of the others at first, but got into the job and started working alone quietly. It is important to focus and to be careful not to collect and of the damaged parts of grapes. I had a bit of difficulty using scissors at first, as I'm a lefty, but I got used to it quite soon.
It was simple work and fun. I wasn't much of a helper, as I couldn't spare much of my time this day, but I'll come back next year and stay longer for sure!