While I most often write about wine and wine events, personally its viticulture and harvest that I geek out the most on. Unfortunately I don’t write a lot about either, usually from time constraints, something I hope to evolve into.
Last year I was fortunate enough to get a multitude of experiences; planting my own small hobby syrah vineyard; volunteer harvest work in every step of harvest and wine making, (save bottling) with great people like C. Donatiello, Hobo Wine Company, and Mounts Family Winery. I also did a home ‘garagista’ project with an ‘naked’ chardonnay, and a sangiovese barolo clone. With luck I will fit some of these in this season, it was easier last season while on sabbatical.
I am thrilled to be spending the next 36 hours with a small group of Wine Writers to attend the private Gloria Ferrer ‘Hands on Harvest.’ Also in our company is a select group of Bay Area Hospitality, Press, Restaurant attendees.
It’s a ‘Hand’s On’ event, but like everything Gloria Ferrer, it’s first class all the way.
Tuesday morning we start bright and early with 6:30 a.m. departure. At 7:00 am we go into harvest training led VP of Vineyard Operations Manager Mike Crumly, who will cover topics like how grapes are grown for wine, berry sampling, and then some actual harvesting of grapes. (I was part of a gringo picking crew last year in Dry Creek that was lapped by the experts!)
The weather will be chilly, so we then warm our stomachs with a traditional Mexican breakfast, followed by a sustainability tour, including Indian middens and Miwok burial site, riparian corridors, bluebird boxes, and ecological history
Before we jump into an 11 a.m. session on soil studies and vineyard practices, we are treated to Hog Island Oysters and bubbly…nourishment for the brain and soul!
At 2 pm we tour winery operations and discuss wine making practices.
We conclude our day with an exciting Industry round table discussion on the latest wine trends, led by VP of Business Development, David Brown.
Thank you in advance, Gloria Ferrer and my about to be Hands On Harvest-eers!