Thursday, October 15, 2009

Harvest This!

The next step in my winemaking oddyssey at Vino Tabi Winery was the hard part (and I don't mean the check writing part) -- Harvest! My winemaking partner Frank and I arose early on a Saturday, and with gardening gloves and clippers in hand headed out into the field. Or, in this case, it was headed over to Zhang Vineyard in San Jose, California. This vineyard is located in the backyard of a silicon valley technology executive. The vineyard trellis climbs up a hill over a two acre backyard that provides a nice view of a pocket in Evergreen Valley. Instructions to us novice wine cuttings included (i) don't cut anything with mold, (ii) don't cut anything that has been nibbled by birds, and (iii) one person per side of the vine. Frank and I figured that we could chat as we worked side-by-side, instead of risking cutting off fingers as we both reached into the vines.

My personal takeaways include:

- Wear sunscreen and a hat;
- Wear appropriate work shoes (flip flops are not a good idea on a hillside vineyard -- see photo)
- Get a professional to help.

Our group included several first time pickers like Frank and me, and a few professionals. I did little more than get in the way, and carry the grapes they picked down to the truck. So, if you get one of the wines made by Joe Plonk, it will most likely include grapes picked by somebody else.

Best, Joe Plonk

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