I can already feel the indoor days
creeping upon us. So a weekend
outdoors among the vines was
a welcome invitation.

My brother began planting a vineyard for Red Horse winery six years ago, and this year was a bumper crop for the two white and one red variety of grapes planted on a sloping hillside looking toward Killington Mountain in West Bridgewater, Vermont.

Vermont winery Bridgewater, VT © Sue Schlabach

Grape Picking Party Vermont © Sue Schlabach

On Friday six of us picked La Crescent white grapes under cerulean skies and bright sun. On Saturday my husband joined me to go for the big picking party when 50 volunteers came to the vineyard to pick, eat and drink. The pickers ranged to all ages. Three dogs roamed the rows, chased by kids who helped stomp grapes in the barn and gather bins on the tractor.

© Sue Schlabach

grape-picking-trio-2-schlabach

© Sue Schlabach

We arrived just after lunch and sampled 2014 wine while picking Marquette red grapes. All told, the red grape harvest came in at over 3000 lbs., and white grapes at about 1080 lbs.

Grape Picking Party Vermont © Sue Schlabach

© Sue Schlabach

Since our summer was a dry one the sugars are concentrated and should make for superb wine. The natural yeast in the skins starts the fermentation process, so there are many variables in the flavor profile of a wine each year. Tasting the result of a summer two years ago was a pleasure while anticipating what the 2016 vintage will hold.

I like that.

Grape Picking Party Vermont © Sue Schlabach