Sonoma Wine Harvest with Friends

Sonoma Wine Harvest with FriendsThis time last year I did my first wine harvest and had such fond memories of the day that when our friends invited us again, Mr. Misadventures and I jumped at the chance. The process of picking the grapes and following the steps to get it to barrel is fascinating and gives me a greater appreciation for every sip of wine I enjoy, particularly when it is a friend’s wine that I have had a hand (even if it is a small one!) in creating.

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On top of that, there is nothing better than being invited into a home that is just made for entertaining. A garden that gifts amazing food, a table laid with care for the sole purpose of gathering friends, people of divergent backgrounds coming together to enjoy autumn in the Bay Area. Perfection.

A little bit chiller than last year, the work of picking the grapes warmed us up a bit. The dozen of us grabbed our buckets and made our way through the vines. Mr. Misadventures looked dapper with his hat, it reminds me of the hat my Portuguese great-grandfather would wear while working the garden.

Sonoma Wine Harvest with Friends

Once our buckets are full (they get to be about 20-30 pounds each) we bring over to be weighed (the total weight of the grapes needs to be calculated so the right amount of chemicals for fermentation can be added).

Sonoma Wine Harvest with Friends

We picked a total of 450 pounds of grapes, enough to make 50 bottles. All the grapes are added to a big barrel (well actually 3) in preparation for crushing them. Their color is so beautiful.

Sonoma Wine Harvest with Friends

Then into the crusher. It removes the stems and crushes the grapes. The grapes are added in on the top.

Sonoma Wine Harvest with Friends

Down to the crusher.

Sonoma Wine Harvest with Friends
Photo credit: Sel & Poivre Photography

Once all that “hard work” was complete then the real work of having fun began. A group of people headed to the petanque (or bocce, depending on what part of the world you are from) court for lively games.

Sonoma Wine Harvest with Friends

Others gathered at the beautiful table for conversation and refreshment. Our hostess is so thoughtful about every touch, even adding fresh basil flowers from her garden to ward off insects.

Sonoma Wine Harvest with Friends
Photo credit: Sel & Poivre Photography

 

We had started the day with a light breakfast and while we waited for dinner we were served with an apero platter. All served with wine of course.

Sonoma Wine Harvest with Friends
Photo credit: Sel & Poivre Photography

Every aspect of the day was carefully planned, as is everything in my friend’s homes, whether it is a simple arrangement of fruits and vegetables selected from her garden…

Sonoma Wine Harvest with Friends
Photo credit: Sel & Poivre Photography

…to every part of the tomato salad that tasted as good as it looks.

Sonoma Wine Harvest with Friends

The full meal included grilled, deliciously marinated steaks and vegetables, several salads and well as butternut squash risotto cakes that were to-die-for.

Sonoma Wine Harvest with Friends
Photo credit: Sel & Poivre Photography

The meal is complete without a sweet ending and there were appreciative sounds coming from everyone as they sampled slices of olive oil cake and chocolate pudding cake (that Mr. Misadventures and I brought from Sketch in Berkeley) and apple pie galettes.

Sonoma Wine Harvest with FriendsTo end our evening and keep us warm there was coffee and sips of Armagnac which we brought to share.

It was a fabulous day full of laughter, stories, good food, and great wine! If you ever have the opportunity to harvest grapes, I highly recommend you try it. It is not just a matter of picking grapes but the entire experience of a gathering of friends.

How about you? Have you been to a wine crush? Do you have friends that make you feel so welcome in their home?

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13 Comments

  1. Oh my what an experience! I loooove these pics!!!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      October 18, 2013

      @AndiP, tons of fun!

      Reply
  2. Lance Wiedower
    October 16, 2013

    That looks like a great day out. I haven’t done a wine crush, but it looks like something I’d like to consider in the future.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      October 18, 2013

      @Lance, I highly recommend it, it was so much fun…and don’t get me started on the food and wine!

      Reply
  3. Valerie
    October 17, 2013

    I adore helping with wine harvest. There are several wineries in my area that always ask for help with their harvest, and in return, you get a fabulous lunch (and wine). It’s great to help a local business and spend a day outdoors enjoying the glorious fall months.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      October 18, 2013

      @Valerie, I could not agree more!

      Reply
  4. Jen
    October 21, 2013

    Oh my gosh, gimme the grapes right now. LOL. They’re gorgeous. I want to dive my hands into them and carry them all away in the apron I’m not wearing. haha! What a wonderful experience. And, i agree with Andi of My Beautiful Adventures. The pictures are gorgeous. I really like the pomegranates and the one with the purple table runner.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      October 26, 2013

      @Jen, they were beautiful! M friends harvested their pomegranates today, there were tons of them!

      Reply
  5. Katie @ Domestiphobia.net
    October 25, 2013

    That looks like the BEST. DAY. EVER.
    I think the only thing that could’ve made it better is if you could’ve crushed the grapes with your feet, a la Lucy and Ethel. But then I guess no one would want to drink the wine. 😉 Is there any way your friend might be willing to give up her recipes for the tomato salad and especially those butternut squash risotto cakes?!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      October 26, 2013

      @Katie, it was so much fun. Everyone wanted to do the feet-crush, but you are right, no one would want to drink the wine after!

      Reply
  6. Colleen Boudreau
    November 25, 2013

    I’ve been wanting to go wine tasting for so long.

    Reply
  7. Adriana Gonzalez
    November 25, 2013

    #5

    Reply
  8. […] and every time we went to harvest their grapes and then enjoy a lovely meal outside (here and here), it further reinforced the idea that I wanted a big table for outdoor eating.  We finally got our […]

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