grapes

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Sour Grapes

This year's grape harvest was better than the previous year's, but only marginally so. They certainly looked better than the 2011 vintage.

My very own grapes

Last year, the weather was so wet that the grapes were simply rotting on the vines. This season wasn't much better than the previous one. It started out well with warm and sunny weather in spring, but then it turned for the worst, with weeks and weeks of rain. Mid summer was nice again, but towards September it was mostly rainy again.

I think the vines did get a boost from the fact that the plot of land next to our neighbours was cleared. Before, the big pine trees took away the sun in the afternoon. But sadly that wasn't enough: they stayed sour for quite a while, and when they finally ripened most of them rotted away because of the wet weather, or got eaten by wasps and birds. The kids and I ate some right from the vines, but when I cut some to put in the fruit bowl, they were hardly touched and I had to throw most of them on the compost heap a week later.

So lets keep our fingers crossed for 2013 then. Mrs.B cut down the vines today, so they're all ready for winter.

 

Berba Grozda

When I was involved in peace-work in Eastern Croatia, September was definitely the month to visit the region. Berba Grozda is the harvest of the grapes, and during that times grapes are consumed in large quantities. Fresh grapes, but also by-products such as... oh, let's see... wine?

I don't know how many times I was invited to visit the three big wine producing companies of the region (and various privately owned cellars). I'm not much of a connaisseur, but I did like the white wines of the Croatian Danube region.

It's been five years since I last participated in the traditional celebrations of Berba Grozda. But now I can have a party of my own. After years of careful pruning – nothing short of slash and burn agriculture – our grapevines have produces an excellent harvest this year. Small but very sweet grapes in the thousands!

There are so many grapes that I've been carrying whole baskets to all the neighbours, my family, friends and anyone that happened to pass by, while gorging myself in the process. Wolf too is fond of the grapes and likes to munch them away with me in the shadow of the vines. If I had any kind of commercial feeling I could have set up a small shop in the front garden to sell them. I could probably start my own export business.

And of course, I'll have to start my own wine cellar!

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