Post Harvest R&R

By the time you are reading this, me and Mrs Grape will have our feet up, furry slippers on and will be on the sofa drinking cream sherry and nibbling Garibaldi biscuits whilst shouting at the telly Gogglebox style. Fred the vineyard dog will be asleep in his bed dreaming about that day when all those people turned up in waterproofs and wellies to disturb his tenacious all day snoozing.  With the help of our friends and neighbours we will have harvested six or seven tons of grapes that have been crushed and are happily bubbling away in a spic and span winery in near Bridport. 

The trouble is, as I’m writing this, we are four days before  harvest and my weather forecast habit has gone completely haywire. I am bingeing on a random rotation of half hourly Met Office, BBC and Accuweather. I am
willing the band of rain predicted for Sunday to arrive early and be through by early morning. In my wilder moments I have contemplated reaching out to the owners of any convenient off shore wind turbines to ask if they can turn them around for an hour or two to blow it through. Alternatively, I wonder if we could flag down a passing helicopter from Yeovilton to make a quick stop to give a bit of down blast to dry everything and everyone out. The next task on our list is feeding the forty or so people that are going to turn up. An army of pickers marches on its stomach and needs cake. Lots of it.  Is a strong leaning towards Coffee and Walnut a Somerset thing? With the weather we’ve been having recently, you’d think that Lemon Drizzle would strike a chord. There is daily discussion with the winery on the subject of how the grapes are looking. Is there any mould ( as of today,  no), what are the sugar and acidity levels, the tonnage expected and general timings.

This is now our eighth harvest and every year, the thing that never fails to strike us is how everybody pulls together. The crew doesn’t turn up just for a single day taste of the bucolic life, pickers lunch and a glass of wine. To a man and woman, they stay until every grape is picked and the last crate is loaded onto the truck. We love them.



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