Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Harvest

One of our first memories from Waco is the afternoon I decided to surprise Dan with a trip to Waco's local winery. Neither one of us had ever heard of it before, but I found it online and thought that the free tasting it promoted would be a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

When we first pulled in the driveway, we were a little nervous. There were no real buildings, only trailors. But there were plenty of vineyards and when we got the tour, we could see that the four trailors they have (plus a giant shed) are more than enough to make their wines.

We got to know the owners, who are a Swedish couple named Ulf and Inga. One of the most interesting things about them is that Ulf is the Chief Medical Director at the VA here in Waco (which is a really, really big deal) and he was actually a doctor in Sweden, then had to complete his residency, etc. all over again when he moved to the United States! So this guy is a doctor. With a successful winery on the side. Wow...and I think I feel busy?

So anyway, Dan and Matthew took wine tasting classes there last year and we've gone to several events they've hosted. Last Saturday, they invited us to help them harvest the grapes! We got there bright and early and went to work.

First, we had to remove all the nets covering the grapes. If they don't put nets over them, the birds will come and nest in the branches and eat all the grapes.
Then, the beautiful grapes were exposed and we worked our way down the rows cutting them off! The variety we harvested is called Norton grapes, and used to make some kind of wine. (Okay, so I'm going off memory here, and I totally forget what kind of wine they are used for.)

Of course, we happened to get stuck with the most dense row of grapes. Even with five of us working on it, it still took us about twice as long to do one row as everyone else! And we really were working hard!

Well, Dan was working hard at least... (see next picture) :-)

Just kidding, I was working hard too! Here's a picture of both of us, laboring away.
Finally, around noon, we were all done! All the volunteers brought the grapes into the shed and then Inga served us an amazing home cooked lunch, with homemade meatballs, bread, hummus, salads... and of course, plenty of wine. All of the grapes we collected went into buckets and they processed them in the afternoon. Look at all the grapes we harvested!

Anyway, it was a wonderful time overall, and I can also now say with complete confidence that I never want to be a migrant worker.

Here's the link to Tehaucana Creek's website if you're interested:

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