Grape Harvesting with Ramona Ranch Vineyard and Winery

Over the past few months, I’ve been getting more into wine. I have a lovely friend, Meghan Vergara, who is a wine sommelier. She’s been a sommelier for over 15 years and she owns her own company called Veritas Consultants. She knows I blog so we’ve gotten to know each other more over the last two years and because of her, I’ve been pulled along on some pretty neat wine adventures that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. Also, because of her, I’ve met some really great people. That lead me to joining the Women’s Wine Alliance of San Diego and now I get to attend the SommCon in November of this year. Three days of rubbing elbows with people in the industry and learning all I want to know about wine. How fun is that?

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(Me and sommelier, Meghan Vergara, in Ramona Ranch Vineyards barrel room)

Through her I’ve also met Teri Kerns and Micole Moore of Ramona Ranch Vineyard and Winery. They have a gorgeous boutique vineyard in Ramona, California and they make some really great wines. So when I got the word that they needed some help harvesting some grapes from Paciello Vineyard, I was totally up for it.

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We were supposed to report to the vineyard at 7 in the morning and I knew that I had a bit of a drive ahead of me, so I made sure to get up extra early that morning. I thought I left on time, but I still ended up being a half hour late due to traffic. Fortunately, the group wasn’t too far out into the vineyards so I found them and Micole was pleased to see me. The more hands the better. So he hands me some garden clippers and a big orange bucket, points me down a row of grapes and says, “There you go, start clipping.” I had never harvested grapes before so this was a fun experience.

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There were rows and rows of grapes that needed to be harvested. Luckily we had quite a few hands on deck to get the job done. I enjoyed talking to the other’s who were out there with me. It appears the wine community is all about supporting one another. There were several other vineyard owners that were out there helping Ramona Ranch do harvest. I loved that. The sense of community between vineyards. They all know harvesting can be a pretty big job so when it comes time to harvest the grapes, they all seem to jump in.

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The grapes we were harvesting that day were going to be turned into an oak barrel aged Viognier. They were green grapes so we always had one extra person follow behind the group to catch any grape clusters the others had missed since it was sometimes hard to see them all up in the green vines.  We picked bucket after bucket. By the time we were done, Micole’s trailer had big bins full of grapes with bees and dragon flies flying all over. They were attracted to the sugars. I felt such a sense of accomplishment and all the help out there allowed us to get it done in 3 hours, which was a good thing because it was going to be a really hot day.

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As we all stood there, rinsing our hands of the sugar and sap, and drinking bottles of water, Micole pointed out the other section of the vineyard that would need to be harvested in about two weeks. I can’t wait to go back and help. This time, it will be a different type of grape and more time spent in the vineyard. What a day.

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