So Saturday rolls around, and Mr Mel pops his already dodgy knee, and can hardly walk on it. We give it till 7am Sunday morning, he thinks he'll be ok, and I make him promise to let me know if it starts hurting more. He agrees, moreso because he doesn't want to let down the Ernest Hill guys by piking, when they'll think we're just pulling the pin because of the heat!
Off we head, for our 7.30am start, there's a crew of about 30 other members, armed with water, sunscreen, hats, secateurs and buckets, so we join the brigade.
By 8am we're half-way down our first vine, and loving it, feeling the weight of the warm grapes drop in your hand as you snip them off is very satisfying, and not long after my first bucket is full (see pic below), and a 'bucket boy' comes to swap full for empty.
|Proof - my first bucket of grapes|
We chugg through another few rows and before we know it, the whole block has been picked! 5 tonnes of late pick semillion that will be used in the deliciously decadent Lunar Spark by Ernest Hill.
|Let the picking begin|
Ross & Jason of Ernest Hill put on a great brunch, rolls with bacon & egg or sausage & egg, with drinks, and complementary bottles of vino. We partake in all aspects, delicious.
Then Jason tells us he's setup a traditional stomping case, where a few buckets of grapes will be put in for us all to stomp, then he'll turn it into wine, the traditional way, and send us all a bottle. Having done similar when they established the vineyard, he warned us it may not be drinkable, and after seeing some of the feet and much going with them into the case, I don't doubt it. It will be a bottle that tells a story rather than gets drunk!
|We shall call it Chateau de Feet|
|On arrival at the kickoff point|
|Luna Spark - the end result of our efforts|