There will no doubt be a few touch ups where the odd cane is still poking out of the hills Pete and I have been ploughing over them. But that will have to follow the next rain expected Saturday night or Sunday, according to the latest forecasts.
The weather has been so spectacularly warm and dry, that the hilling up process has been a breeze. Normally November is wetter and finding drying days to break up the chunks of soil is hard to do. Not this year.
We had a great crew of locals, tying down the canes prior to burying, led by Katrina and Becca who have been soldiering away in the vineyard since the spring. This fall they were joined by a smattering of European travellers, several Germans, a Swede and a Belgian whose work permits enable them to take odd jobs to help finance their year abroad. Such a great program.
Wassail Starts on Saturday November 19
I love Wassail, the celebration, based on middle ages traditions of England’s west country, of having our wines safely buried, partially because it was my idea but also because it was rooted in the reality of the County’s unique approach to cool climate wine growing. We are the only official wine region of the world that grows vinifer where the winters are guaranteed to kill the fruiting buds. We would all be limited to growing hybrid or experimental varieties of grapes, if we hadn’t invented this burying technique, and as a result would have had real difficulty being recognized as serious wine growers. So, it is no wonder that we want to celebrate when the vines are safe.
Come visit us between 11am and 5pm on the next 3 weekends. We go all out. There will be tastings as usual but we will also make several mulled white wines and offer roasted chestnuts, mini beef wellingtons, and chocolate brownies with sour cherry compote (for special pairing with our PTO, red sparkling). Come around dusk when we light candles in the vineyard, weather gods willing, and ignite a great bonfire as we toast the season past and the season yet to come. It is a special time.
As true wassailers we expect you to be singing winter songs (wassailing was the precursor to caroling) and we reward you with a free taste no matter whether you manage to stay on key.
There are buses if you don’t want to drive. Google Wassail in PEC to get the schedule and sign up. A lot of wineries are participating this year.