Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Spiced Winter Red is back at Vynecrest just in time for fall

The 2012 Harvest at Vynecrest should wrap up this week barring any unforeseen events. It's going to be another great vintage. It is now time to set our sights on the holidays. Christkindlmarkt in Bethlehem opens in just a few weeks on November 15. Be sure to visit our wine booth there!

October Specials
  • Wine of the Month - Spiced Winter Red, additional 10% off
  • 3 Pack of the Month - 3 Vignoles for $25**
**at winery only, 3 pack can't be combined with other discounts

Upcoming Events
  • October 13 - Live Music in the Vyneskeller, Arianne , 1:30 - 4:30 pm
  • October 20 & 21 - Chambourcin Weekend - We will be pairing our 2011 Chambourcin with a Wild Rice & Chick Pea Salad with dried cranberries. Its a perfect Autumn side dish, recipes will be available. Art's Acoustic Oldies performing in the Vyneskeller on Saturday from 1:30-4:30 pm. Public is welcome, free of charge.
  • October 27 - Live Music in the Vyneskeller, Valerie Borman , 1:30 - 4:30 pm
  • October 28 - Jazz Sunday, Live jazz in the Vyneskeller, Body & Soul, 1-4 pm
  • November 3 - Live Music in the Vyneskeller, Connie Edinger , 1:30 - 4:30 pm
Glass Half Empty by Malachi Duffy

As we near the end of the 2012 harvest season, I thought some of our readers might like an inside look at what harvesting grapes is REALLY like.

Gone are the days of grape stomping a la "I Love Lucy." Our harvest days typically start at 7 a.m. Our vineyard crew immediately begins picking the grapes, placing them into the yellow lugs (bins) that we placed out in the vineyard the night before. John, Sam and I prep the equipment for the day which includes a press, crusher/destemmer, pumps, hoses, etc.

By 8 a.m. the first round of lugs are ready for pick up. After a quick round of rock, paper, scissors between Sam and I, one of us hops up onto the tractor (winner) while the other climbs onto the attached wagon eager to pick up the 30 pound lugs (loser). The wagon holds 72 lugs, so each trip nets us about one ton of grapes.

From there it's back to the crush pad, the concrete slab outside the wine cellar (it just sounds cooler to call it a crush pad) where we unload the grapes into the crusher/destemmer. This machine takes the grapes off the stems and uses rollers to lightly crush the grapes. The result of this process is a combination of juice and crushed skins known as must that gets pumped into the press.

Next comes round two of grape pick up (Sam does the heavy lifting this time) to again fill the wagon and take another one ton load back for processing. Once these grapes are crushed, the must is combined with the first batch to fill the press and we begin the hour-long process of pressing the must to extract as much pure juice as we can. (Notice, there are no bare feet involved in this process).

By the time the day is done, the above-mentioned tasks have been repeated over and over until all the lugs for the day have been collected and processed. On average, each day of harvest brings in about 500 lugs which yields about 1,000 gallons of wine once the juice has been fermented. Our day finishes with a marathon cleaning session to hose down all of the equipment and lugs in preparation for the next day of harvest. When all is said and done, Vynecrest will harvest just over 5,000 lugs of grapes during the 2012 season. That's a lot of rock, paper, scissors.

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