Picking grapes

My wife and I like wine. We just volunteered this week to help a local winery, Amber Falls, harvest their 2010 grapes, , , and it was so much fun.

I visited a small winery in Slovenia last year and was impressed with the winemaker’s stories. His family has been making wine for over 600 years and the small village he lives in boasts of having more than 70 wine cellars, , , , something the Romans apparently built when they came through the region to store wine for their soldiers.

When we were in the dirt floor cellar tasting our host’s wines, I could just imagine a couple of Roman guards posted there hundreds of years ago sampling wine like we were doing.

I asked the winemaker about harvest and he said it was always a big event. Family and friends come in and pick the grapes for each year’s harvest and it was always a big and joyous occasion, , , pick grapes all day and have a big feast and party at the end of the day.

For some reason, I’ve wanted to be part of a winery grape harvest ever since, , , so this year Dorine and I volunteered to help our friends at Amber Falls.

Guess what, , , it was great, , , we had a super time and even enjoyed getting up at 4:00am to be at the winery at 5:30am to start. In two days, we and other workers and volunteers picked about 14 tons of white grapes. The whole process was easy for the pickers and everything was handled very efficiently, , , down to the lunch afterward.

Being organized is extremely important in any business. Amber Falls made the entire process simple and easy, , , like clockwork. Oh yeah, they started their “kickoff meeting” at exactly 5:30am, , , very professional and efficient.

Did I tell you we are awesome grape pickers? 14 tons of grapes is no small achievement!!

Can’t wait to go back in a couple of weeks to pick the red grapes. I’ve been told to wear something you don’t mind getting messed up as the red grapes can leave quite a stain, , , I guess it’s sort of like a “badge of honor”.

This weekend, we are at our Camp Liberty and plan to go out to the winery in a few hours to listen to some jazz music.

Tim and Judy, , , Pat and Margaret, , , are the owners of Amber Falls. They have created a great attraction for all of us in this area. We take everyone who visits us to Amber Falls because it is a very special place.

Cheers !!

Click on either of the images above to go to the Amber Falls Winery web site.

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