Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Toil in the Vineyards



At my graduation the speaker talked about toiling in the vineyards as though it were a bad thing, or, not so much a bad thing, but like the toil was payment for the future to come. I believe that the toil itself is where the value is, the hard work is its own reward, and you must always be working on something, and sometimes the things you work toward, when you are dilligent and thoughtful and caring, produce fruit. As it happens, on monday I got the opportunity to toil in the vineyard for about 15 minutes or so.

Told my friend I would maybe be able to be out there by the late afternoon, and I was a bit off. I left late so I could get Zac to go with me, I thought it would be more fun with him there, and I knew it would help him feel better. We grabbed our swimsuits and took off for our hour and forty minute drive through rush hour traffic to get out there. Once we were there, it had started raining in a heavy sprinkle, but that wasn't too big of a bother because we spent the first hour of the trip riding around the property in a covered four wheeler. The large are was absolutely beautiful, clouds out, and all kinds of things to see from a pin of captured wild boars to wells and to just plain old fun driving around and ramping dirt hills as we got the complete tour before coming back to the vineyards. Once we got back up there we took a look at the Blanc du Bois first, vines that were a little less than a year old.

We looked carefully at them and my friend talked about how they are trimmed and cut and trained to grow correctly on the trellis to makes sure that the fruits they produce are the sweetest, most flavorful, and most abundant possible. After teaching how to do it, he handed me some pruning shears and some twine and let me do about 10 of them while he and Zac chatted. It was beautiful work, I would be happy working at a job like that.

After a little bit of working we drove around and looked at the other vines and the nursery and took a small tour of the winery where we saw the new equipment that has not been put into use, yet. Finally, we stopped up at the pool house and went swimming in the really nice pool for a few hours, just chatting and hanging around relaxing in the absolutely perfect weather and perfect temperature water.

On the way out the gate I picked enough grape leaves to cook dinner the next night, which is another post on its own. We stopped by the vines again and I picked about 30 really big leaves. We said good bye and headed home.

Hungry as we were after all the swimming and running around, we stopped at a Jack in the Box on a lake and we ordered food and then ate it while we watched fish swim in the lake and beavers splash around and ducks and ducklings move all over the place. Even saw a tiny baby beaver. It was late, though, 11:30, so after we took off my foot was a little heavy on the gas pedal, and we got pulled over. The officer chatted with us for a little bit and we talked about what we had been doing that day and he asked a bit about it and then let me off with a warning. Man, talk about a good day. THe rest of the drive home was pretty uneventful, just conversation and company.

I am really looking forward to doing that again. I am definitely going back some other time.
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