Vineyard Journal Archives
The first week of January brought a fresh layer of snow, however this was a dark month full of illness, death and other sad things. A full eclipse of the moon on the 31st helped me focus on an end to the old and the hope of something new.
On March 1st, I fell and broke my wrist. This was not the something new I was hoping for and not a good time at the start of pruning season. But there never is a good time to break anything. My injury required surgery which spared me the obstacle of a cast. I must have rallied some sense of humor to have put pajamas on my cat, Zinfandel, and manufactured a four-leaved clover. The next two months were mostly physical therapy appointments and lunch with friends. I am grateful for the talented people associated with Riverview who never once made me feel old or fragile.
“Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.” —Psalm 71:18
“earrings in the driveway”
By the end of April we were back to hosting parties. Even though it was quite cold, we had an enthusiastic group come for a campfire in their winter coats. After their visit, we found three earrings in the driveway. We suspect the donning of coats had much to do with the loss. Our Facebook post said: “WARNING: Our wine may cause your earrings to fall off!” The photo elicited the owners’ attention and all three earrings were claimed promptly.
The Noblesville Parks Department extended an invitation to us to vend at three events they titled “Wine Down with Art.” Each event, sprinkled through the warm months, would feature local artists displaying their works along with those like us selling wine or food specialities. The first was May 4th as the rain moved out and a beautiful evening ensued. With an elastic wrist brace I felt almost normal again. We always appreciate our friends and family coming out to celebrate and support us!
In July, we closed on one of our normal Saturdays to host a Celebration of Life for our friend, Barbara Marcotte. It was during a stretch of horrible hot weather, but we had planned a large tent that worked well for the faithful crowd that attended. We were honored by the family to be able to share our property in this fashion. Barbara was a supporter of our winemaking from the beginning and helped us in many ways through the years. She will be greatly missed.
“keeping a watchful distance away”
My first sighting of a Cedar Waxwing was a fledgling just outside my front window. His bandit mask gave him away although he is still grey and slightly fuzzy in places. It wasn’t long before a parent came to check on him. The mother, was a soft yellow brown, beautiful with the same masked face, keeping a watchful distance away. A strong breeze today creates motion in the grass and leafy shadows—hopefully enough to distract the owls and hawks from the little one. The last I saw of him, he was walking tall with his wings spread and dragging behind him. He’ll soon learn what those wings are for and his mother’s job will be over.
Much of the vineyard and other landscaping was left under-managed this year due to my injury. So as a diversion from that chaos, we attempted to grow watermelons in a patch of prairie grass. The patch was given a walking path with a quick pass of the mower. then watermelons, cantaloupe, honeydew, and zinnias were planted on each sides of the path. The melons were a complete loss between cutworms and deer, but the zinnias were somewhat successful and the native flowering vegetation even more so. We decided to host a “Butterflies in the Vineyard” event and printed a guide showing the 12 butterflies you might spy on your trip down the path. Above are some photos I captured. Several professional photographers had excellent results, sharing them with us online.
Our fall festival this year turned into a watermelon festival. Despite our failure to grow our own watermelons, we were successful in producing a sweet watermelon-flavored wine this year. Naming it “Melon Burst,” we went with a football theme for the festival and had a watermelon kicking contest, using various painted balls. The staff dressed in umpire garb and we invited Big D’s Dawgs to serve hot dogs and nachos. The cold weather put a damper on the crowd but I think our “Watermelon Kick-Off” cleared the goal of generating a little fun and introducing the new wine. My favorite moment was hearing a boy shout, “Mommy, I saw a baby watermelon.” And he did — it was on the only vine that survived the deer onslaught, still tiny but big enough to make an impression.
This year’s harvest is already young wine and has had some cold weather allowing it to settle out the spent yeast. On December 1st, we had a very comfortable 60-degree day where we could work comfortably in the winery and pump everything off the yeast sediment, preparing it for cold stabilization.
“many sleepless nights”
Sometime during this year, we learned that the airport threat had subsided. In fact, by last November the option contracts had expired due to lack of a first payment. Perhaps it was coincidence that Amazon solicited proposals from all over the country regarding the location of an additional headquarters. Perhaps not. We will probably never know exactly what was happening during those months of secrecy other than it caused us many sleepless nights. For this reason, as well as much political strife in our country, our Christmas cards offered the reassurance that “everything is going to be alright.”
Whether you are a “night owl” or an “early bird,” anyone up on New Year’s morning was rewarded with a STRING OF PEARLS in the southeastern sky. The show started with the rise of the waxing crescent Moon in close conjunction with Venus (4 am) followed by Jupiter’s rising and finally Mercury just before sunrise.
“Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.” — Isaiah 40:26