It’s harvest time, the crush is on and life in the vineyards is extremely busy. I visited Thornton Winery for their first crush of the year last month. Crush at a large winery like Thornton is a big deal, involving several tons of grapes. Last week Laura and I were invited by some Fallbrook growers to help pick their Syrah grapes and join in their harvest celebration. I become involved with this group when I Met Bob Howard at Fallbrook Winery a few months ago, and they are a tight-knit group that are always there for each other.
Mike and Tricia Hoffman own Live Oak Vineyards and have three acres of Syrah grapes that they planted in 2006. We arrived at 7:00am, armed with gloves, clippers and hats. Mother Nature was kind enough to provide us with a cloud cover to keep it cool. We were done picking in just about an hour.
There was a bit of disappointment when the harvest weighed in at under 250 pounds, but that’s the hand fate deals you sometimes. The fruit was beautiful and the juice we tasted was nectar sweet. Friends and neighbors shared several bottles of locally hand crafted wine and some delicious food and looked ahead to next year’s crop.