If you’ve been reading my blog for the past three years then you probably noticed my lack of grape and vineyard photos this summer. No daily updates and photos of how any number of different bunches of grapes were ripening. No videos or photos of the harvest. 2020 has been a difficult year in so many ways.
If you read my post The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly or Farewell September! Thank You for the Memories then you have a glimpse at how the vineyard was devastated by mildew this year. It seriously went from amazing to ruined in twenty days.
Previously my morning walks in the vineyard found me filled with excitement as I visited different plots each day to see what had changed and ripened since my last visit. This year I found myself walking out of our gate and standing a bit lost…where to walk. All I would see was the devastation to the vines. Bunches of grapes that had looked so luscious were now rotting on the vines. And being an organic vineyard there was nothing more that could be done. For a while I really didn’t enjoy those walks much. It was just so sad. I remember when we were in lockdown and not allowed to even walk out the door and wander the 1000 acres of the property…I missed my walks so much. Then lockdown was eased and the grapes were growing and I was walking and happy again. It lifted my spirits to see that the cycle of life in the vines was continuing as it does each year. A glimmer of hope in what has been a rough year.
And then the mildew hit and 2020 just seemed to take that hope away.
Okay, I know 2020 has sucked and been horrible in so many ways. I am not making light of that at all believe me. What I am saying is that I am a person who when the world gets me down I try to surround myself with positive vibes. Whether that be music, reading, finding inspiring quotes, time in the garden, walks in nature…it all helps me to…well to cope when life gets to be too much. So, although we don’t own the vineyard and financially it didn’t have any effect on us…we still find it very sad.
The vines had to be left to continue the normal lifecycle. There was hope that harvest would be twenty percent of normal – horrible, yes. I’m not sure exactly what it ended up being but the last I heard was ten or fifteen percent of normal harvest. The grapes were constantly inspected and then slowly and precisely handpicked.
So, below are a few of the photos that I’ve taken over the past few months. The ones that I didn’t want to share until the harvest was over. Why? I don’t know…perhaps I didn’t want to jinx anything further.
There were grapes that were okay…
And then right next to them others that were done…
A week later the beautiful colors of ripening grapes could be found in another plot.
There were grapes that emerged at the end of the mildew hit or after that never quite ripened in time. Those are still hanging on the vines in various stages. Beautiful and sad at the same time.
Even though these grapes missed harvest I believe that they show us that Mother Nature will come back fighting. She may get kicked about but she comes back swinging. In nature there is always hope. Always.
Mother Nature is the ultimate truth of the show must go on.~Terri Guillemets