There is very little automation in our processing at Country Moon Winery, so things are very “hands on” from start to finish. This year, in an effort to get empty picking lugs back to the crew as soon as possible, we decided to try our hand at field crushing. Kasey and Konner worked hard at exchanging lugs for tokens, dumping lugs, and turning the crank – yes, by hand! Some tight-fitting lids allowed us to transport 5-gallon buckets of crushed grapes to the vineyard, condensing the loads and reducing trips to the winery. The LaCrescent variety is notorious for its long tangley stems. It was discovered that the destemmer jammed less often with the cover and collection bag off – another advantage in working outdoors.
June is wedding season, but it was also engagement season here at the vineyard! Austin Hochstedler wanted to create a special surprise experience for his future wife so he enlisted the help of his sister, Ashlynn, who has a photography business, along with his mother, Angie Hochstedler. After Angie contacted us with Austin’s intentions, we hoped for good weather in spite of the forecast of rain. With this rainy spring, there have been many days where a trip through the vineyard would be muddy at best and dangerously flooded at worst. Fortunately, when June 22nd came the weather cooperated and the couple received a beautiful afternoon.
The mother and sister arrived first and picked out a spot from where they could photograph the proposal. Austin and Rebekah dined nearby for lunch after which Austin texted his mother saying they were on their way. The couple appeared at the tasting bar as usual customers with Rebekah none the wiser. I asked them if they would like to taste some wine or take a vineyard tour. Rebekah jumped at the chance to take a vineyard tour which made all of our jobs easier. Off they went and we could hear squeals and laughter not long after. The family generously shared photos with us, some of which we assembled as a little slideshow for a Facebook post. (See 7-5-2019) Congratulations, Austin and Rebekah! We feel honored to know your promise to each other began here! We wish you all the best.