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Friday, October 2, 2020

WHEN DO YOU WASH THE GRAPES?

 By Caroline Clemmons

When Hero and I lived in rural Parker County, Texas, we went on a tour which included a couple of vineyards and a small winery. We laugh about this because an earnest young man gave an interesting short lecture on how grapes are gathered and processed for wine. A woman on the tour repeatedly interrupted him with, “When do you wash the grapes?”

He must have been told that in the case of heckling he should continue with his presentation. Poor man tried to carry on, but she persisted with the same question. “When do you wash the grapes?” With a pained expression on his face, he finally explained that the grapes are never washed because the “bloom” on the skin is a natural part of the wine-making process. She appeared horrified.


Around the same time, our friends bought a small acreage near us and planted a vineyard. They were from Germany and had raised grapes there. Not as their occupation, but as a second income source.

Hero and I were not involved in planting the vineyard (thank goodness). One year, we joined another couple and helped with the harvest. We hurried to get as many grapes cut and put into containers as we could manage.

Actually, we had a nice day while we worked—with plenty of chatting and laughter. At an arranged time, a truck arrived to haul the grapes to a winery.  Then the six adults and several teens went to a local restaurant for an early supper.

This was Hero’s and my first experience harvesting grapes commercially. I don’t know whether or not we were any good at the job. Our friends certainly didn’t criticize us—after all, we were free labor.

Have you been to a winery or vineyard? If so, share your experience in the comments.


By the way, now is a great time to preorder an anthology titled CHRISTMAS COMES TO DICKENS.  When it's  released on October 26, you'll find 10 all new Christmas stories for only 99 cents! I had such fun writing my story, HOLIDAY HEARTS. The anthology is available at most vendors. The Amazon link is https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Comes-Dickens-Romance-Anthology-ebook/dp/B08JQPSK3G/   ,                                                                                                                                              

 

 

7 comments:

  1. Decades ago, Sandi and I saw some show that was taking about the vineyards in Italy, California, and Texas. The question came up frequently and was answered that way. So, whenever we were at another couple's place and they were having wine, I used to refer to it as "foot fungus juice." I thought I was hilarious. Others did not. Between them and a few teachers I knew at my last job who were heavy wine drinkers, I apparently cured about half a dozen of them from ever drinking wine again as they could not get the idea of "foot fungus juice" out of their head.

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    1. That would not put me off because all that alcohol is bound to kill whatever germs are in it. I miss seeing you in person for your funny comments.

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  2. Although there are several vineyards here in Washington state, I've not been to one since I don't drink Kevin's "foot fungus juice." LOL I do, however, grow my own grapes ... and I can't help myself ... I do wash them before I eat them.

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    1. You're supposed to wash them to eat them, of course. It's only when making wine that you don't wash them. LOL But my Hero tried making wine and never achieved a drinkable product. We seldom have wine, anyway.

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  3. I've been to a few wineries, but one of the largest and oldest ones was in Strasbourg, France, where we saw the mountains lined with rows of grape vines and learned how grapes were raised and wine was processed. Unfortunately, the wine tasting was also fabulous, but the winery could not ship their wine to the United States because of all our tariffs and paperwork. :(

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    1. Our favorite wine is a Reisling from Germany. I can't remember the name but go by the label's appearance. If the company changes the label, I'll be lost. Oh, no, then I'd have to go back to Germany to check it out, wouldn't I? LOL

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  4. We have a small vineyard here and more grapes than we know what to do with--but I mostly make jelly and pancake syrup with them--or give them away. I wash them, of course, unless I'm eating them right off the vine. After all, that's what shirt sleeves are for. (And we don't spray.)

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