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Harvest at Tres Sabores

Harvest at Tres Sabores

Tres Sabores grapes (photo courtesy of L.T.)

Leona Taylor | Chef's Blade

This morning is quiet at Tres Sabores.

Nestled away in a sultry pocket of the Rutherford Bench, even the bees here seem happier than most. Perhaps it’s Julie’s commitment to Organic farming, which makes them humm so happily or perhaps it’s the smell of manure wafting from the barn.

At two months and counting the baby sheep have no idea that it’s auction day at the Napa Fair, nor should they care. Instead they munch without melancholy on a heap of grape vine trimmings that Arturo and Miguel have brought in from the vineyard.

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Vine (photo courtesty of L.T.)

During the winter months these sheep—all thirteen of them—do their part for the winery. Grazing on weeds around the vines, fertilizing every now and then as they go. Julie’s two remaining Guinea hens follow along picking the ground for ticks and bugs and keeping a watchful eye for Coyotes. Now, with grapes on the vine, the sheep stay in the barn, with the occasional foray to the olive grove to show off for our guests.

When I left for vacation a few weeks ago, the grapes were still all green, but when I returned “Viola!” verasion. It’s an exciting time in the valley: the calm before the storm, so to speak. In my minds eye I can see the harvest moon swelling with a feast of the senses. Harvest is hard work. Hot, sweaty, back breaking work, but I wouldn’t miss it for the world. We’ll start most likely in mid-September as the estate boasts Zinfandel and Cabernet. The Chardonnay and Pinot producers will be starting soon out in Carneros and somewhere somebody will be blessing the grapes.

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