So. It looks like we won't be having a wine harvest this year. Today, we walked around the vines and said, "This season was not meant to be, Cherie..."
Due to a 'series of unfortunate events' (well drying up, us gone for the month of May and part of June, municipal water connection efforts) we were not here for either the planting of our vegetable garden (sadly) nor also some important milestones for our grapes and so it looks like they have been infected with a fungus, AND they didn't get enough water at the right time.
|tiny grapes and some yellow leaves|
Raising grapes HAS it's pitfalls. I am a bit depressed as I was looking forward to another wine harvest get-together.
The good news is, it looks like we'll have a pretty nice olive harvest this year. As that takes place in November, we'll be busy enough for this fall, to not pine too much after the grape harvest.
If our luck holds with the weather this year, we should have another brilliant crop of olives and some fantastic oil. As we only harvest our olives every other year, it's really important for us that we get it at its peak of perfection, and then rush it to the olive press!
We MUST have a good batch of oil to
a) have enough to last for 2 years, and of course
b) have the right quality of acidity to not go rancid after the first 6 months! This means that T will probably pick all our olives over a period of three or four days and then get them pressed almost right away.
Usually the olive press is busy, but because we lean a bit more towards the side of "green" on our olives, we're early enough in the season, to miss the 'full out' busy of ALL the olive growers arriving at the same time.
The first year we harvested all on our own, our olives waited in the pressing queue for four days, and as we'd picked them "ripe"(and black), by then some had started to go bad. The olive oil was "OK", and it lasted for almost a year before we had to use it to light fires in the fireplace.
Extra-virgin olive oil means that the amount of free fatty acids (oleic acid) is below 1 %. The taste, aroma and "feel" on the tongue must rate high as well. The olives are squeezed by one of several processes known as "first-press" or "cold-press". The end product should be really green and cloudy, and the most prized are the oils the most peppery, and throat-catching- in other words, the oil should have a "cough".
Our last batch had the "cough" for the first time ever! It was SO exciting... even though we only use it ourselves and give it to a few friends at Christmas, still it was really a special moment. It has been a fantastic oil, and I will miss it when we run out. I hope this year's batch will be as good!)
So ends another day...
Did you notice I placed FOUR pictures on the blog???
I got a very helpful answer [on a reply to the original answer (to which I'd replied quite brusquely regarding my lack of computer speak) the first time] from a lady named Marcela at Flickr.
The first answer was the same as the second answer, although I will give her credit for writing me back, not calling me names, and explaining to me how to find what I needed in the HTML code to post each individual picture. So hopefully I'm back in blog business! Now if only I could think of something interesting to write about!