Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Vendage: The harvest of, or harvest time for, grapes.
The vendage is in full swing here in Cruzy. We wake up to the sound of tractors pulling trailers full of grapes to, and empty trailers from, the wine co-op that is just up the street from our home and drink our evening wine to the same sounds. The tractors, trailers and trucks come in all sizes, shapes and colors. The empty trailers make more noise than the full ones because the empty trailers bounce more.
Yesterday, Claire and I took a walk past the school and out into the grape fields. People were in the field picking grapes and we boldly wandered over to investigate and document.
Turns out it was a family and, perhaps, neighbors doing the work. Four people picked the bunches of grapes (a variety called Aramon) and put them into large plastic buckets. One sturdy fellow (called “Superman” by the others) carried a LARGE container on his back into which the others emptied their buckets. Superman then hoofed it to the trailer parked on the edge of the field and dumped his load into it. When the trailer was full, another fellow (whose name turns out to be Christian and who is the president of the Harley-Davidson club*) drove them to the co-op.
At the co-op the tractors, trailers and trucks all lined up and had their loads identified, graded, recorded and dumped. The line of vehicles at the co-op looked like the floor of a child’s room with brightly colored toys all in a row.
We had a great time with the harvesters and have now exchanged a couple of emails with Christian.
*It’s amazing how much you can learn without a shared language but with a strong desire to communicate.