Sunday, August 29, 2010

31st Annual Harvest Festival

Everyone is invited to join Shenandoah Vineyards for our 31st Annual Harvest Festival. We are now firmly into our 3rd decade among the longest established wineries in Virginia, and the oldest in Shenandoah Valley. The harvest festival is a long-held tradition where we open ourselves to participation with the people who've made us successful all these years. 

The festival is a day-long event from 11 am to 6 pm. Admission is $10 for drinking-age adults, and $5 for people under 21 and non-drinkers/designated drivers. Children 4 and under are admitted free. Attractions include winery tours and wine tasting, food and refreshments, live music, crafters and artists, activities for young people including pony rides and llamas. 

The winery and vineyard will be open inside and out for people to stroll about, ask questions and generally enjoy themselves. Call us for more information at 540-984-8699.

Mostly Local Breakfast

As the economy continues to dictate frugality, this is what we had for breakfast this Saturday morning at work. Coffee of course is mandatory. (It was a tad early for wine, but one can imagine adding Raspberry Serenade to lively-up a morning cup of coffee or tea.)

On the crackers we put pears, sliced thick with a wide groove, and crumbled cheese drizzled with honey. The pears were picked from a tree on the edge of the vineyard. Both the cheese and honey are produced locally.

Harvest Nears

Early morning photograph at dawn shows the vineyard a week or so before harvest begins. Grapes are picked as they get ripe, so harvest doesn't happen all at once. Some grape varieties ripen earlier than others, and elevation and sun exposure due to ground slope and orientation can affect ripening.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Peaches in a Dream

Mid-summer is a time to dream. As days get filled with the sweet essence of ripe fruit, so this sweetness infuses our dreams. Pictured are peaches picked from a tree that volunteered along the fence-row bordering the gravel drive to the winery. Most of these will be baked into cobbler for dessert at our harvest festival supper. A lucky few will be sectioned to bathe and be savored in a Sauvignon Blanc, and appear on our blog to entice customers.

Levels of Enjoyment

Enjoyment of life needn't be vertically constrained. Take for instance the top photo; this shows our upper deck. The view from here is largely unobstructed and breathtaking. From this high vantage point most of the vineyard in front of the winery is visible. Visible as well is Massanutten Mountain, forming the majestic centerpiece of Shenandoah Valley.

The bottom photo shows our middle deck from where visitors enter our sales and tasting area. Visitors can feel a sense of privacy offered by the largest grapevine one is likely to see. Actually, there are two vines. Their large trunks can be seen at the base of the staircase leading up to the deck. The vines trellis and twist their way up and around the supports and railings of the deck. Foliage spills across the openings casting cool shade onto the seating area.

Sweet Serenade Released

Elegant simplicity is a noble goal. Music and taste are often synonymous. Tastes change. Austere times can be more richly fulfilling than times of wasteful excess. Case in point - the wine in the picture is our least expensive. Sweet Serenade is made from flavorful, aromatic hybrid grapes, finished sweet, with an aroma of tropical fruit cocktail. We bottled 443 cases on 7/24/10.

Music recorded on the mp3 player is downloaded free and legal from the Internet Archive. The powered speakers contain an internal amplifier, and need only house current and an input signal. Whether you groove to Tchaikovsky or techno, austerity can be crisp, fresh, tasty, and even sweet on occasion.