Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Grape Stomping!

When Benjamin and I first moved to Dallas we started looking for free, fun events that we could do together.  In my search I found Delaney Vineyards in Grapevine.  Each year they host a community event where people can come to help them harvest their grapes and then have an old fashioned grape stomp!

I have always wanted to do grape stomping ever since I watched "A Walk in the Clouds" and that famous I Love Lucy episode where she gets recruited to work in the wine vat to squish the grapes.  Can I just say that I totally have a better understand of the first expression Lucy gives after stepping into vat - them's some squishy grapes!

Back to the vineyards:  We have been trying to go for the past two years, however every time harvest weekend rolled around I was laid up in bed sick.  This year we were going even if Benjamin had to pick me up, carry me to the vat, and dump me in it!

Thankfully, I was fit and able to walk myself.

After a short mini-lesson on how to use the miniature sickle to cut the grapes off of the vine, I went to town filling up my bucket.  Can I just tell you, I loved harvesting the grapes!  I enjoyed the game of hunting for them beneath the masses of green leaves, choosing the ones that were ripe for the picking and leaving the ones that were scorched by the sun.  All the time I was harvesting, John 15 kept running through my mind.

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.  Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.  
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.  This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."

A few Sundays ago the sermon series was over John 15.  One thing I remember Gary explaining was that sometimes vines start to grow on the ground and lay sucker roots.  Every once in a while the gardner will come by and tear that root out of the ground and wrap it back onto the apparatus that holds the vine off of the ground.  For Christians, there are times when we fall to the ground and start laying roots.  God comes around and prunes those roots from us, pulling us out of the ground and putting us back where we are supposed to be in order to bear much fruit.  The process can be painful, but the end result is rewarding.  Being in the vineyard and seeing firsthand the rows and rows of vines brought this chapter to life for me.   

Between the two of us, Benjamin and I harvested 4 buckets of grapes!   As the grape collecting bins filled up with the cute, purple fruit the Delaney workers were dumping them into the de-stemer.  Then the grapes would get pushed through a tube into the wine vat as they awaited the moment where little feet would start squishing the juice out of them!  All of the children went first, followed by couples who had married at the vineyard, followed by everyone else.

The sensation of stepping into the squishy mess was a strange one.  My feet were met by a cool, gummy, wet substance followed by goo squishing up through my toes!  I could actually feel the grapes popping beneath the weight of my feet and received better mushing when I picked my legs up high out of the mixture under me.  I was in heaven!  It was so fantastically fun to be covered in grape juice from the calves down and not have a care in the world.  Forgetting I was 27, I pranced around in the grapes with Benjamin for quite a few minutes.  When was the next time we would do this again?  I was enjoying it!  

We decided that our time at Delaney Vineyards was an awesome experience and we would without a doubt go back!

1 comment :

  1. Oh my that looks like so much fun! You look so threatening with your tiny sickle. I can't believe how purple the grapes are! This is coming from a city girl who hasn't spent much time in a vineyard...I feel like you only see that color in story books. Will you blog about your horseshoe throw'in? How did you do?


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