I hope to make wine from my own grapes one year, but until I do, I have to buy them. I’ve been growing grapes, planting a new row and variety each year, for about 5 years now. I battle with the deer, the black rot… you name it, just about everything has prevented me from bringing in the bounty. This year, however, I brought in my first lot of Concord grapes, but there wasn’t enough worth making wine with, so we made pies and jams and froze the rest.

Speaking of buying grapes, I brought home the last bounty on Saturday. 300 pounds of Petite Sirah and I am very excited about this one. It feels like–ok, it’ time to stop messing around and make some good, red grape wine. So, this Petite Sirah has been somewhat of a project for me delving back into books, picking brains and talking to people.

I really appreciate the access to the winemakers in the CVC. When I was in Art School, we were told to “copy the masters”. Doing so may not make complete sense at the time, in fact it seemed like plagiarism, but looking back, I found that it brought me up to a plateau where I could look back to where I was to see where I did good, or bad. For me, I’m a quick study in most things, mainly because I have no problem admitting that I don’t know it all and then ask someone to tell me everything they know.

Ultimately, I choose to stay on that higher plateau because afterall, it’s the place to be, right? Knowing what I know now… is better then what I never knew. You heard that here first.

Here’s my story from the truck to the carboy. I just pressed the grapes off the skins today and it’s rollin’ in the cellar. I already can’t wait to do it again next year. But next year, I think we’ll shoot for a clean 500 lbs. Anyway, I hope you enjoy these pics of the fine people I get to mingle with when we take off on a cold morning to smash grapes, eat pizza and drink wine! Cheers.