Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Harvesting The Red Grapes Of Eisenberg,

The manual way or rather perhaps the Manuel-Fawlty Towers way...

All our calendars, social or otherwise, had been cleared to harvest the red grapes yesterday. Mum had checked ahead on the weather online, and we all were on tenterhooks when it was raining early in the morning. But, as they say,fortune favours the brave,the skies cleared and the harvesting went ahead.

As it happens, the weather changed for the better at about nine in the morning, and by the time we had finished picking grapes in the afternoon, I had heard Le Bob tell me at least fifty times that he wished he'd worn shorts. It was hot with blue skies and the bunches of grapes were in perfect condition.

Mostly, only one snip was needed and to be honest, the whole day I was imaginging sipping the ensuing vintage. This year it has been murmured in the vintners' circles that the 2015 vintage will be one of the best in a long time. A few brave souls even muttered that it will be the best wine of the century. This one or the last one? You see, it has been an incredibly hot summer and a summer that was not blessed with too much rain. Ideal conditions for grapes.

The last trip to the grape-crusher, the Rebler, was done and we were in the process of cleaning the last bucket ( and looking forward to a celebratory harvest meal at Bruni's ) when one full bucket of grapes was found in the back of a car. A bucket was not enough to reconnect the Rebler but it was too much to discard. Goodness, that bucket alone would provide numerous bottles of delectable wine!

Only one thing to do. We crushed the wine like they did in the days past. With all the various machinery we use, we tend to forget that wine was made by hand a few hundred years ago. Without machines and only with the proverbial elbow grease.

Three of us sat on a bench and did the old pick & crush two step...take a bunch of grapes, pulling them off the stalk while at the same time crushing each grape between our fingers. Even though we were tired, it was a rather fun way to do it. At least we didn't need to use our feet to crush it!

Isn't it funny how little words make us think of things? Rudi was laughing and said that we really made a real manuel wine...and of course that got my mind straight away visiting the stored memories of Fawlty Towers. and if you also loved that show, I bet you are right now vividly recalling a famous Manuel sketch.


All day I had the most stunning opportunities to take photos, but if you've ever done grape harvesting, you'll know that your fingers are sticky as if covered in glue.
There was this one vine clothed in a vibrant stunning red, that was so impressive that I went back at the end, but only after cleaning my hands...