Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Grape harvesting in the foothills part 1

Many of you may enjoy a fine glass of wine or two, or three, but many may not know the process.
For wine lovers in the foothills it is a labor of love.

The sierra foothills has long been a prime area for wine grapes; the vines arriving along with the miner's in the mid 1800's. The wine making in the foothills even survived the Prohibition with our neighboring county, Amador, being the only county to expand its growing during Prohibition, sending their grapes to San Francisco for home wine makers.

The four season climate in our area offers a perfect setting for growing grapes. However, the right time to harvest the grapes is not tailored to the growers schedule. When the sugar, tanin and acid levels within the grape are just right it is time to harvest...everything else gets put on hold.

David and Lorraine Crawford entice their family and friends yearly to their harvest with the promise of a BBQ and some samplings of last years vintage at the end of the long day.

The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are harvested, de-stemmed and crushed...next, the pressing.

Cleverly I had managed to sneak by the harvest day, though the thought of a BBQ and homemade wine was enticing, I opted to take part in the pressing part of the process the following weekend.

Above photos by Christina Hara

story to be continued.....

Charity Maness