October 12, 2010 will forever be marked as Veranda Beach Vineyard’s inaugural grape harvest. Seventeen gathered at 8 am as Father David asked for God’s blessing of the bounty and the inaugural nine acre harvest began.
It was a day of celebration for Vineyard Manager Finis Hale who so lovingly tended to the vines through the growing season. “Our harvest is complete, the grapes are crushed and the growing season has come to a close. The grapes now are in a state of transformation. As Winemaker Rusty Figgins delicately performs the art of crafting grapes into wine, we have no other choice but to wait for the complete bounty of the harvest. As I reflect upon the season it reminds me of all the gifts God has given us. As stewards of these gifts we will cultivate and produce the finest wines available in the Okanogan valley. We will capture the audience of two nations, and all will be awestruck at the flavors we lay upon the palate. Our first harvest hasn’t come easy, from wild creatures to learning curves, however with perserverance we prevailed. I would like to take this time, to thank all who participated in the harvest. And to Father Dave who gave his time, to ask for Gods blessing in our bounty. And for those who were unable to come, we missed you. This was a great time of fellowship with our peers and I look forward to this new tradition next season.”
Winemaker Rusty Figgins replies “The human interaction required to perform the transformation from grape to wine is merely a gentle coaxing into the correct direction. One knows that it all began in the vineyard, and the very high quality of the grapes that we harvested is a testament to Finis being constantly conscientious about the grapevines’ health.
Father David’s appearance to bless the harvest was a touching reminder of our purpose here, and a sign of something great coming from our collective effort. I hope that the grape harvest blessing begins a fine vintage tradition at Veranda Beach, the like of which is found at many famous wine estates all over the world.
Thank you very much to Jude and Paul for providing coffee, Finis for the doughnuts, Lisa for even more coffee and for her gourmet-quality chili at lunchtime. Thank you to all for the opportunity to share the season’s best moments with you!
The wine is indeed well on its way, as 5230 pounds (2.615 tons) of Barbera grapes were lifted by hand into the de-stemmer this morning, having been first subjected to the chilly night-time temperatures, aiding in achieving optimum processing condition. The juice is highly concentrated and flavourful, with great acidity and sweetness. A deep garnet hue was immediately apparent as the tank was filled with the newly crushed grape must. My aim is to create the finest Barbera ever made in either side of the border, and our very special site will allow us to lay claim to that honour.
Allow me to also extend a word of thanks to all who helped or even just wished that you could have helped with this year’s grape harvest. Your support is enjoyed immensely!”
For photos of this very special day, check out our facebook album… http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=321312&id=696974250&l=ed3c143bfe#!/album.php?aid=40979&id=25941014968