2015 Vintage: Oechsle never seen before

IMG_8905A quick note to say: We have harvested. The turnout of friends who came, who make the venture of bringing the grapes into the cellar possible, was higher than the previous year. The gratefulness I feel towards them is difficult to describe: kids’ appointments, parties, birthdays, etc, are all cast aside to come out into the fields and help us. It is cold, it is repetitive, despite the good chin-wag you can have, from row to row, it takes a lot of dedication to cut every mouldy berry out: we do it, we stay in our ‚handlese-world‘, we compare aching limbs in the days after.
mz and erbse harvest
Would James Bond put his assignments on hold to come out for a Green Feather Harvest? Would M have given him a little code that makes all the mouldy berries fall off in one go, without the need to poke the fiddly cutters into the grape bunches? Would the house-tall harvesting machine of our neighbour suddenly roll toward us, with mumbles in a foreign accent; would Bond suddenly put two and two together, link the approaching harvesting machine with out a scheme he’d been chasing for years; would the crucial clue be in the stacking of our harvested boxes; would he press a button on his watch to stop the harvester crushing our vineyard; – the button would fail, since everything had gotten sticky from the grapes; but he would have rescued us; gas heaters would drop from the sky dangling from parachutes; and we, the pickers, could sit together and share our impressions of the day (which we did anyway, bar the heaters).

IMG_8897 IMG_8909

And in case even more people turn up next year (plus or minus James Bond), we have already got an oversized espresso maker: IMG_9113

(“Oechsle” being the sugar degrees measured in the grape juice, before it starts fermenting.)