Harvest at Captain Vineyards in Lamorinda

We were invited again this year for the harvest at Captain Vineyards. See here for last year’s harvest. It’s a bit later this year due to the weather.

I wasn’t very useful this year since they were harvesting grapes at the lowest part of their backyard so it was hard for me to climb up and down and also difficult for me to lean down to try to cut off the clusters. But here are some pictures to share.

These are their petit sirah that are still waiting to be harvested. Due to the heavy rain (6 inches) last week, the sugar content of the grapes have been diluted so they are watching and waiting to see if their will be some warmth to concentrate the sugar again to the desired level. It’s wrapped in netting to be protect them from birds.

There were 8 lanes of cabernet franc that were harvested first thing in the morning.

Here is Susan Captain giving directions to the volunteers as she requested that only the clusters from the main vines were to be picked as the secondary clusters were not as sweet and wouldn’t be good for the wine.

Our friends Eun & Virginia starting their first lane.

I’m always in awe when we visit their vineyard… the rows and rows of vines.

Since I couldn’t really help with the harvest, I explored the rest of the property so found they also have citrus, pomelo, tomatoes, and pomegranates.

A deer showed up at the ridge, hung out for a while, then jumped over the fence to another open space (but not into their vineyard).

Their new wine cellar for storing their barrels. Next door is also a tasting room.

The first “lugs” being carried up. I didn’t know they were called “lugs” until today, apparently nicknamed because you “lug” them up the hill.

The cabernet franc ready to be de-stemmed and crushed.

Where the crushed grapes are store, these huge plastic vats.

1272 pounds!

The results of the de-stemming and crushing.

Ron dumping about 30 lbs of grapes into the de-stemmer/crusher.

The machine at work.

First step to becoming wine.

Wild turkeys made their presence known by shrieking “gobble gobble”. Anyone need a turkey for Thanksgiving? Unfortunately, these wild turkeys are protected so they can’t be hunted and are allowed to run amuck unless they harm your crop.

This is the first year that Captain Vineyards has become a bonded winery so that they can make and sell their own wine. In past years, they had another winery make and bottle their wine so all volunteers had a taste of some of their wines after they finished the harvest.

As always, we had a great BBQ after the harvest. I always enjoy visiting their home and vineyard. Read more about it on their website: Captain Vineyards.

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