We are seeing earlier harvests in Ramona Valley this year, perhaps, due to warmer temperatures and faster ripening. Wait a second. It’s always warm, or rather hot, in Ramona at this time of the year. So what gives? The Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah grapes in our South vineyard continued to be the first in the valley ready for harvest a couple of weeks earlier than the rest of the valley around mid-August. The Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the West vineyard were ready for harvest a week later last Saturday. We are thrilled with the overall fruit quality this year. It’s going to be a good vintage.
We were doubled blessed last Saturday with lots of helpers and nice weather. The cloud-covered sun and cool breeze made the harvest nice and pleasant. We were so grateful to our volunteers, friends and relatives who came to help. The Hargett cousins (almost a dozen of them), colleagues and friends showed up once again to lend a hand. We also had helpers came from all over: San Diego, Poway, San Marcos, Lakeside, Ramona, San Diego Country Estates, Los Angeles, San Jose, Arizona and as far as Canada. Thank you all so very much for sacrificing your precious weekend to spend a few hours with us and our grapes vines.
Working together in the vineyard was definitely therapeutic to some of us who are more inclined to have a sedentary lifestyle and would rather relax on the weekends, rather than picking grapes in the vineyard. Being in the vineyard gave us all a sense of closeness to Mother Nature and made us realize what a precious gift God has given us. I felt a sense of unity and simple joy as the harvesters bantered while working together in the vineyard. Grapes are truly gifts that keep on giving over and over for thousands of years. We’ve heard over and over again from our volunteers, after their first harvest experience, that they had a better sense of appreciation for wines as they experienced first-hand how much work and TLC involved in growing grapes, harvesting and wine making. We heard from friends and relatives who love wines and fresh local grown foods that helping us pick grapes in the vineyard and watching the grapes crushed into wine must reassured them that there were still foods and drinks out there that were made, not in the labs, but from natural products with as little minimum human intervention as possible.
We went to bed that night with aches and pains, and a sense of accomplishment as we survived Mother Nature and two weekends of harvest with a few more harvests to go until mid-September. We are on the right track and can hardly wait until the end of the harvest season. Now, we know why they invented the Oktoberfest celebration in Germany!