Two Bees Wine

Monday, September 18, 2006

Harvest! It’s 2 days later than expected, but the grapes are in – 500 pounds of them, spread across 5 bins along the back of the patio.

It’s 10:30PM, and Anthony’s winemaking day started 12 hours ago. He took off from work to help Jon cleanse his macro bins, lids, and all pieces of the de-stemmer-crusher, and then to await the arrival of the grapes.

Luigi, the grower, delivered them at 2PM – 3 tons all together. Luigi is tall, grey-haired and beared, his hands rough, a man of the land. Anthony told him that he hopes to make him proud; Luigi wished him likewise on behalf of his grapes.

Our batch was the last to be processed. Anthony stood atop an improvised ladder, stabbing clumps of grapes with a pitchfork and heaving them into the raspy, screechy machine. As it spit out the stems to one side and plunged the purple berries straight down into a plastic bin, I dipped a finger in the accumulating juice and sampled one bruised grape. Sweet, intense nectar, delicious and drinkable right now. Can’t wait for daylight to see how they look as they await the fermenting process.

We celebrated after dark (and before the bins were trucked to our patio) with champagne and a Cote Rotie, a precious last bottle from a stash Barbara and Jon carried back right before September 11th. The women folk cooked: an Alsatian tart with gruyere cheese and smoked ham, a salad with figs and proscuitto, and chicken mole with brown rice and zucchini. The guys needed it more than we did, but we all revived with laughter and stories of our nerdy teen years (we'll keep this anonymous: our foursome includes a classroom's designated AV guy always in charge of the projector and tech issues, such as they were back then; a girl whose mom sewed her clothes, buying Gloria Vanderbuilts to get the signature correct on her copycat jeans, then returning the store-bought pair; a guy whose dad crew-cut his hair and who played soccer when it wasn't a cool sport; a girl whose mom drew all the boys' looks when they'd drive around).

Yeah, just look at us now! Posted by Picasa


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