Harvest-Free Fall

The climate on the North Fork of Long Island has dubbed “marginal” for growing grapes by several wine books that I’ve read. This is largely due to hurricanes (which Hugh Johnson calls “frequent” and I hope that’s not true). But sometimes what makes it  ‘marginal’  is simply the rain. Lots of rain. Like this year- it rained practically the entire month of June and the month of October has been pretty rainy as well. Which has made it a troublesome time for most wineries here.

Although most white grapes have been harvested and some winemakers even call the quality good (we’ll see in a year or so if that’s really true) there are lots of red grapes that are still on the vines. “We might be harvesting our 2009 crop in 2010,” Eric Fry of Lenz Winery said.

That would certainly be a labeling challenge – even if it is a climatic impossibility. Or would it be hyphenated vintage (2009-2010 Cabernet) Would the federal government allow it? That’s one of the fanciful notions I’m entertaining as I’m waiting for Eric to call to say when they might start harvesting and I can return to the winery to help out.

In the meantime, I attended a gathering of local women last night that was a combination of a social get-together and a political rally for a local (female) candidate whose life resume was so long that I dozed off in the middle of all her many accomplishments.

I do remember hearing that she worked for Harry Chapin, though it had to do with solving world hunger and not singing. (Does anyone remember “Cat’s in the Cradle”?) Her name was Jeri Woodhouse and she sounded like a pretty remarkable woman. I’ll look her up now that I’ve got some time and it’s (still) raining out.


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