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Viewing entries tagged
canceled picking

What We Do When We're Waiting to Harvest...

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What We Do When We're Waiting to Harvest...

What a pretty restless time it was after canceling the pick! It was Monday morning and I became the classic Monday morning quarterback. Cloud after cloud rolled in from the Indian Ocean carrying drizzle, followed by a low grey blanket of clouds that tucked the region in with a denseness in the air. Repeat, drizzle, denseness, drizzle, denseness. Repeat elation at having not picked, despair, elation, despair. Yoyoville.

I squish through the fields to the vines for the third time and notice that the grapes are still dry beneath the canopy despite the downpour. Silvereyes are massed in the trees. A huge male kangaroo lopes lazily away at my approach. He’s harvested a little snack for himself, I notice as I readjust the bird net. I don’t remember his signing up for an allocation, but I’m delighted to share with him. We kept the fruit on an extra day just for him.

In the night the wind picks up and the rain pounds so hard, my heart pounds along. I go out into it, connect with its intensity and wonder whether the harvest will proceed in the morning. Sleep is utterly banished by the howling winds and the thought that maybe I’ve misjudged it. Have I jeopardized the entire season’s work by cancelling the pick? I pore over the radar and a stew of weather reports and go back and forth about it all. It looks like we will have a brief window in the midmorning, but will it be dry enough?

Soon enough the light comes up and the clouds have lifted. I’m noticing patches of sky! I rush out barefoot into grass that has been dried by the wind. It’s looking like a particularly perfect autumn day. A kookaburra has a good laugh and so do I. The grapes needed another day. They needed to taste the first autumn rains and a little bit of chilliness so that that could be in the wine along with everything else. 

With a lifted heart I head down to the harvest. 

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Am I Picking in the Rain???

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Am I Picking in the Rain???

The rain is here and I welcome it, but it is the morning of the Cabernet harvest, so I’m hoping it blows over. We trudge through the drizzle to the vines by flashlight. The ocean is pounding. The cars of the vineyard crew are shushing in through the drizzle.

We set about removing the nets, getting soaked in the process. Miraculously the canopy of our close planting has kept the grapes dry. We distribute picking buckets face down so that no water gets in. As the light comes up the pickers arrive. And so does the rain, with force. With no air pollution, nor radiation, this is one of the cleanest rains on the planet. And we are Cloudburst, after all. But even so, do I want to risk diluting the wine?

My phone is ringing and texts are flying around the shire. Virtually every vineyard has canceled their pick today. But the clouds are lifting and we are ready to go! The nets are off, the light is up, and listen - the Silvereyes are massing expectantly in the trees. And suddenly the rain is pelting us and it’s clear that we aren’t picking today. We hurry to put the nets back in place and head off for dry clothes and a cup of tea.

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