|Ada Koch working on her painting inspired by the vineyard|
|The winery at Somerset Ridge was|
the place to be on Saturday!
As hard as it is for me to realize the grandchildren are all back in school, it is even harder to realize that Harvest Day #1, 2011 is a done deal! While I am “retired” from the vineyard, I am only ‘semi-retired’ from Harvest events. And I still bake their fresh rosemary shortbread for them, I don’t have much to do there anymore. But come Harvest Season, I can’t stay away. I have been enjoying harvest at the vineyard since 2001, and I love it!
|Two "seasoned"pickers! The Vandenbergs know their grapes and their wine!|
As usual, Dennis sent out an email stating the date and time, asking for volunteers to call or email immediately for a spot on the team of 80 pickers. Also as usual, the reservation list was full within 10 minutes! I actually talked to a woman who walked around with her blackberry in her hand waiting for the notice from Dennis! A spot on the picking team is considered to be a treasure!
The grapes that were harvested this time were the Traminette, an extremely prolific vine with white grapes galore. By the time the pickers had stripped the vines of their fruit, they were ready to eat, drink and have a party. That is just one of the things Cindy and Dennis Reynolds do well….throw a party!
Lunch was a joint effort, with Donna Nagle of Molly’s Table, taking the lead; all I did was make the dessert and find enough tomatoes for 80 people. Donna and her trusty side-kick, Patrick, served a wonderful meal. We have a tradition of executing menus typical of a wine producing country. The first harvest event each year has been Greek. We serve up cooling Greek Salads with Lemon Grilled Chicken, Pita Bread, Sliced Tomatoes, and for dessert, Lemon Sugar Cookies. The wine is a wonderful selection suggested by our own wine maker, Dennis. A chilled Chardonel, and Flyboy Red wines were perfect with the luncheon.
While we were sipping wine, enjoying the salad, Dennis and his crew were in the back of the winery, crushing the grapes that had been harvested just moments before. I love to stand a few feet away and watch them work This was always Arch’s favorite part of the harvest season. He became pretty proficient at tossing in the rice hulls that keep the grape must from packing solidly in the hoses leading from the crusher to the press….well, his favorite part right up there with drinking the wine!
|Maria discusses her paintings with some of the pickers|
This event had several additional features. Jeanne Mackay was there with her Tasteful Olive oils, Silpada was showing their new jewelry, Maria Johnson and Ada Koch were painting glorious paintings of the vineyard, and there was some wonderful live music on the veranda!
See what I mean? They know how to throw a wonderful party at Somerset Ridge Winery!
But don't mess with these two! Kelley and Holly take the wine business very seriously!