Our friend got married in this palace in Hungary. Not bad, huh?
A friend of Chris’s family got married recently in Hungary. She had a lovely wedding near Lake Balaton, and Chris and I had a blast. Did you know that Hungarian wedding receptions last all night? Neither did we. Do you know what Pálinka is? We didn’t either, but we sure do now.
We got back to the Terragena estate winery the same night as harvest. Even though we (Chris, Nickie, and Justin) had spent all day picking in the sun we had to crush the grapes while they were still fresh so they could begin their journey into the best possible wine. Harvest days continue for 20 or more hours. Justin was up by 3 am and didn’t quit working until at least midnight. Three cheers for the driver!
There was a little side story between leaving and arriving that I didn’t mention in my harvest post. Big Red (our affectionate name for the vineyard truck) decided to have a conniption about an hour or after Justin left the Holden-Mapley vineyard, and Justin ended up pulled to the side of the road praying for someone to stop and help. He was hanging out of the cab holding jumper cables. Someone eventually did stop, but Red wouldn’t budge on a narrow winding strip of road as the darkness was falling…
In the fall of 2012, Chris and Justin (a member of the Terragena team at the time) drove the vineyard truck and trailer all the way to the Holden-Mapley Vineyard in the Alexander Valley AVA to pick Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon in the wee hours of the morning.
That year was outstanding for viticulture in almost all of California, and the fruit looked amazing. They picked grapes alongside a small crew of professional pickers, who are always much faster at hand-picking grapes than any of us amateurs. In total, they harvested about a ton of grapes, enough for two barrels and a little extra to keep the barrels topped off over time.