Episode 12: The 2013 Harvest and Winemaking and other events

Monday, September 23, 2013
We have had the most unusual weather in 2013.  It rained almost every day since spring and throughout the summer months. We were not sure what it would do to the grapes.  The sugar level in the grapes were a concern but with a few good days of sun at the end we were able to achieve a respectable level of 19 compared to a desired level of 20.

You may think that you can leave the grapes on the vines a little bit longer but that is not the case; once they reach the optimum level of ripeness if not picked quickly they begin to rot.  All during the season you lose some to deer, birds and disease the last thing you want to do is to lose more due to late picking.  We thought we would pick on the 8th but the grapes were not ready.

In the meantime I had to travel to Atlanta (6 hour journey) to be at my daughter’s side for the birth of her second child via C-section. She was born September 10, 2013. Mother and baby are doing fine.

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She was 7 lbs 3 oz. 20″. She is a sweet little girl.

The following Saturday I had to leave Amelia and her big brother Greyson, another precious grand-child, to make my way home.

I made it home late that night.

The very next morning we got up and got dressed to begin the harvest.  The pickers consisted of Luis Perez (who lives on our vineyard) and works for us part-time, his wife Mary Lou, Tom Silvey, Owner and myself Josephine Silvey, Owner.   Tom suggested that someone take a picture of me actually working because nobody will believe that I actually get my hands dirty. Everyone has the misconception that I am a diva. Like the old TV show “Green Acres” where Eva Gabor appears in a Negligee and says “give me 5th Avenue!” and he stands there in overalls holding a pitchfork in his hand! Now back to reality. I work, I get my hands dirty.  Here I am picking grapes without gloves,nipping my fingers with the clippers every once in a while, and yes I did not break a nail! 

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The Traminette grapes were much harder picking because the clusters were smaller and the birds and deer had done some damage. The other varietals need several more years before we can harvest them so we did not have to do anything with them. No work was required but no harvest and no wine will come from those vines for another year or so. Now that we have done our homework and know what grows and where it grows well we will need to expand our vineyards to ensure we have enough grapes to create enough to supply our wine-tasting room needs as well as our needs for our events venue.

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Tom Silvey and Luis Perez
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Luis, Tony and Tom
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Save the date for Roaring River Vineyards Grand Opening and one year anniversary on Saturday July 15, 2017 from 11 am - 5 pm. There will be music, food, wine and beer, games, raffles to win 1)a case of wine , 2) a two-night lodging.
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