Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The search for grapes

I need grapes. Last year I bought 100 lbs of grapes through a local wine making shop.
He was able to arrange the purchase from a local wine maker.
It worked out real well. A couple days before the harvest, I got a phone call
with the date, time and location of where I could pick up the grapes.

I showed up with my 20 gal plastic fermenter at the winery. About 10 other small
wine makers were there and the truck with lugs of grapes. The grapes had been picked
the day before and one by one, we got our grapes. Some people took the grapes
whole. Taking them back to crush them at home or their winery. Others like myself
climbed up onto a wooden platform and got to run each lug of grapes through
the stemmer/crusher into a container.

I was the newbie in the crowd. First time making wine, first time buying grapes.
I was only buying 100 lbs, so there was a bit of grape envy of the guy buying 1000 lbs.

Other than the person buying 1000 lbs (who appeared agitated that he actually
had to listen to other people chat while his precious time was being wasted), everyone
was in a very good mood, crunching grapes and hauling stuff around.

I realize then that doubling to 200 lbs of grapes, or even tripling would probably not
be that much more work overall. So, this time I am going to try to get more grapes.

But, there has been a change in the winery that we got the grapes from. The owner
has sold the winery so it has thrown into question my ability get grapes this year.
So, we will see what we can do. I would hate to have buy juice this year.
We will see.