Friday, August 10, 2012

The Vineyard

I was invited back into the vineyard ... it's the closest one to my house. The sun came up, I had a million things to do... but the day called me to go. The light was just right at 7AM and the cup of coffee brought just the right amount of motivation to the idea. So, I grabbed my camera and was off to capture the sacred limited time to find the "colors" on the Dolcettos!

Antoinette Celle Vineyard has a longtime history and an even more charming story about the rare grape that flourishes on this small farm.
"This type of Dolcetto has unusual characteristics that are not common in the types of Dolcetto typically planted in California. The state as a whole, only has 100 acres of Dolcetto planted, period. My Dolcetto produce a more complex wine and the grapes are able to hang on the vines much longer than other grapes." writes Antoinette Celle.

 I kid you not, once you are standing in the rows of grapevines, you understand that it is a truly magical place! If you read my last post about veraison and this sacred stage of the grapes as they are ripening, you might know what I mean even if you have never had the opportunity to stand in the middle of a vineyard on an August day. The morning air feels cool and fresh and stages the perfect setting to discover half hidden tight bunches of grapes. The sight of the "jewels" amongst the deeply veined leaves are like finding treasures with your eyes. The bunches of grapes are suspended in mid-air with room to grow, yet nestled within the rows and the branches of the vines that shelter them.

Antoinette explains more about the Dolcetto grapes and her vineyard,
"I grow a rare type of an Italian winegrape varietal: Dolcetto di Dogliani, which is believed to be the grandfather of the twelve types of Dolcetto. In February 2011, Dr. Andy Walker at UCDavis, propagated cuttings from my vines, and planted them in the old vineyard at UCDavis. The Foundation Plant Services are keeping a close eye on them, to study. My husband Jim Roberts and I farm organically. We are on the California Registered Organic list of small-scale farmers. We sell brown eggs from cage-free hens and fruits, organic walnuts and pecans, flowers, herbs, and vegetables. I also "put up" small batches of preserves under my label: "Twice the fruit/half the sugar" and also pickles, green olives, salsas, and herbs in jars -- just like Penzeys."

As I leave the vineyard I am thinking that I might try to learn a little more about this special grape variety and the process of growing this type of fruit. I promise myself to regularly visit this perfect backdrop to the Seasons having my camera ready to capture it's beauty.

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