Grape Harvest, August 2020

The vines ripened in the final days of August this year, and when the grapes call, I must go.

Sam, my friend who grows wine grapes, graciously let me harvest over 100 pounds of chardonnay on the evening before his last night of harvest. I drove to his family’s farm in the delta near Sacramento as the sun loomed ominously orange in the smoky sky.

We wore masks as we clipped each bunch of grapes from the vines, filling up our 5-gallon bucket five times, then piling the grapes into a massive plastic tub. We traded stories of how our lives have been affected by the pandemic and the wildfires as the sun dropped below the horizon beyond fields of alfalfa. Over hushed grapevines, the nearly-full moon glowed red, reflecting the smoky sunset to the west.

Want to read more about my vermouth adventures?

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