Mom told me last week that the grapes were going to be ready soon, and asked when we were going to come over and help them make wine. Today was the day.
This is the third year we've done this. Mom and dad planted grapevines so they would create a nice shade cover in the front courtyard, but then with grapevines come grapes, and there is no reason to just let them go to waste, right?
Since wine isn't the reason they have the vines, mom and dad don't prune the vines for that purpose, or do enough cluster thinning, so the wine is never going to be super amazing, but it's an interesting experience, and since I'd like to eventually grow grapes to make wine, it serves as a nice practice run.
The first year we did this, the boys (dad, Keith, Bobby) wound up crushing the grapes with spatulas, and developed some nice blisters on their knuckles. We call it the "blood wine" because there really is a tiny bit of blood in it. Last year Bobby and I couldn't make it over to the house before it was too late, so we missed out.
This year, a friend of dad's and her sone came by to help out, and I gave Emma a camera so I would have proof of the event. The cabernet seemed sickly this year, and mom and dad had prevented it from growing any fruit, so we just had the pinot noir to harvest.
Mom and Bobby were cleaning off the grapes while the rest of us crushed. Everyone else employed our spatula technique, but I just grabbed bunches and crushed them with my fingers. Bobby suggested that next year we get a kiddie pool and crush them the old fasioned way - with our feet.
As we were crushing away, dad brought out a glass of the wine from last year and the year before so we could try them out. I thought they were both on the sour side, but I don't know how much that is attibutable to their youth. Perhaps they will mellow out, perhaps we are doing something wrong, I'm not sure.
When we finished crushing, we had a nice lunch of homemade tamales, salad, and Bootlegger's Amber Alt Ale. Perhaps one day we'll make wine as well as Aaron makes beer.