One down, seven to go

Syrah-crifice over Stonehenge

Somewhere around 6am, I pulled out of the Safeway parking lot with snacks and a 4-pack of Red Bull, and pointed the truck east into the sunrise. Ten hours and an enological sacrifice later, I was backing up the driveway with a combined 1200 lbs of merlot and syrah. Like slipping into an old pair of jeans: the 350-mile harvest road trip to fetch the good stuff!

I’ll post our numbers later, but the grapes tasted pretty good, and in fact, surprisingly racy for Washington fruit. I think we could have pulled the merlot a day or two earlier, but picking it when we picked the syrah saved us a trip — and besides, of the two, the blend-destined merlot quite usable a little less than perfect.

But yeah, the syrah: great acidity but also great flavor; clean berries, crunchy seeds. This one’s going to be fantastic if we don’t F it up — something I made sure of by stopping at Stonehenge on the way back for our ritual sacrifice (see picture above).

More pics below the fold…

Looking south from the vineyard

The view south toward the Gorge from a rocky knoll overlooking the vineyard. It would be pretty severe country without irrigation, but I’ve really grown fond of it over the last decade we’ve been coming to this part of the world for fruit.

Poseidon visits the Garagistes to lend a hand

Poseidon, God of the Sea and more recently, sustainable development, drops by to lend his trident to the grape processing effort. Verily, he also commands you to “Rent this Truck” — well? He’s already pissed about losing Troy: Hop to it!

Into the new hopper

With the new electric crusher stemmer, what would have taken hours was over in about an hour and a half after we set everything up. Just be glad karma didn’t send you back to earth as a grape, though, eh?

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