Sunday, August 8, 2010
Here it is, harvest time again. The grapes look wonderful! We have more grape producing vines this year than we have ever had; over 8000 vines….meaning more grapes to pick. In my world, that means more harvest meals to prepare! Fortunately for me, my dear friend and fellow food enthusiast, Donna Nagle, of Molly’s Table in Paola, is stepping up to relieve this poor old woman! Oh, don’t for a moment think that I won’t be there, hands into everything! I could no more give up harvest at Somerset Ridge Vineyard than I could give up breathing!
I still remember our first harvest. It was a summer not too different than this one….temperature wise. It was hotter that the devil. We started picking at 5:30 to 6am every morning, so we could quit by 10am when it was already 100 degrees. Dennis’ mom, Mae, and I would stand on either side of a vine and clip the clusters, dropping them into a bucket. At the same time, we fought off robins with mean little expressions on their faces….we were stealing their food!
Today, the 11 acres of vines provide enough food for the birds plus make thousands and thousands of gallons of juice for Dennis to turn into delicious Somerset Ridge wines! I have checked; there will be plenty of Chambourcin and Cabernet Franc grapes to make Arch’s wine, Flyboy Red!
La Crescent is a grape with a French background, and has been developed by the University of Minnesota to be a cold loving hardy vine. The berry itself is round; yellow-amber in color with a waxy bloom when ripe. As a fairly new white wine lover, I am anxious to see what Dennis does with this one! And, of course, I am anxious to see what foods can be paired with it!
I will be blogging about harvest over the next 6 to 7 weeks. I hope my enthusiasm for harvest is infectious rather than boring! Bear with me, when harvest is over, it is back to the kitchen! October always sends me dashing to the kitchen to fill the house with aromas of freshly baked goods with apples and cinnamon, black walnuts and pecans. Big pots of soups and stews, taking advantage of the final crop of fresh herbs and vegetables. I can hardly wait!