Lynn Galyen, an Austin regional and Perissos Wine Club member, snips a lot of Viognier grapes from the vine at Perissos Vineyards inBurnet Galyen was simply among lots of volunteers who reached the vineyard to take part in its very first harvest of the year. Staff picture by Dakota Morrissiey
The sun was increasing over Hoover’s Valley in Burnet County, and I was snipping my very first lot of grapes from the vine atPerissos Vineyards At the break of day, I was amongst lots of other momentary vignerons who had actually ended up for the vineyard’s very first harvest of 2022.
As summer season subsides, vineyards throughout the Texas Hill Country are collecting their very first wave of white wine grapes of the year with some severe aid from volunteers.
Perissos lies within Hoover’s Valley, a ghost town community nestled in between the Colorado River to the northwest and picturesque Central Texas hills to the southwest. Eighteen planted acres of white wine grapes produce cool rows that surround a spotless stonework winery at the center of the vineyard.
I was clued in to the Perissos harvest through an online invite that generated assist with the Viognier harvest. The terms were mentioned as such: “Join Us Saturday, July 23, 2022 6:45 a.m. – Until Done.”
I had actually restricted experience with grape selecting, white wine drinking, and pronouncing Viognier (vee-ON-yay), however I believed it might be rewarding to take part in a bonafide Hill Country grape harvest. Over 50 of the best wineries on Texas soil lie within our legendary hills, and Perissos is an increasing star amongst them. With a pile of awards from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the most distinguished contest in the nation, I wished to see and taste for myself what enters into making a first-class bottle of white wine.
“We’re at a point now where we might refrain from doing it without everybody that comes out to volunteer,” stated Dalton Humphreys, Perrissos’ basic supervisor.
The winery has actually generally connected to its thriving wine club membership for aid throughout harvest season however opened it to the public also this year.
After signing a waiver and getting a set of pruning shears, I made my method into the depths of the vineyard. Most of the vines were still covered in their protective netting, protecting the valuable, ripening grapes from marauding birds and raccoons, however I quickly discovered myself within the rows of completely mature Viognier.
Later in the day, Humphreys provided me a fast breakdown of the Viognier grape, defining it as an intense, crisp, and a little acidic southern French grape with tips of apricot and apple, once it is processed into white wine.
“In regards to a summertime white wine, it’s gorgeous,” he stated.
It was still cool when we started the harvest. The sun was concealed behind the very same ridge that harbors Longhorn Caverns, and everybody was exercising the kinks in their snipping design.
While it was easy and uncomplicated work, I was amazed the vineyard would delegate its indispensable vines to the inexperienced hands of volunteers. It takes approximately 4 years for a grape vine to begin producing, and these specific Viognier vines were 15 years of ages.
Harvesting was straightforward: Find a grape lot, snip it off at the stem, and drop it in a pail. Repeat this procedure up until no grapes stay. In this case, there were 5.5 lots of grapes on 16 rows of vines.
For a group of complete strangers doing manual work, everybody was remarkably favorable. More than 70 volunteers worked along with long-term vineyard personnel, snipping our method down the rows as the sun increased greater in the sky. The vignerons, led by vineyard supervisor Thomas Martinez, fluctuated the rows, providing tips and gathering complete pails of grapes to be transported off by a tractor.
According to Martinez, the work done beyond harvest does not need almost as numerous hands.
“For the harvest, it’s a great deal of individuals,” he stated. “For the remainder of the work, cutting and pruning, it might just be me and 3 individuals.”
Perissos is a family-owned vineyard with Laura and Seth Martin behind the operation. The Martins purchased a system of land in Hoover’s Valley in 2003, and, by 2005, they developed their really own vineyard and winery.
The whole Martin household appeared to be associated with the harvest. Laura and Seth assisted any place they could, and their kids provided treats and beverages to volunteers or snipped away at professional speeds.
This was clearly work, however it was simple to get captured up in the love of dealing with a family-owned vineyard in the hills, understanding the grapes you’re choosing will be utilized to make white wine you might be consuming the following summer season.
“It’s a lovely family-run winery,” stated Lynn Galyen, an Austin resident and Perissos Wine Club member. “I believed it would be good to be a part of the procedure and see what truly enters into the white wine that we consume.”
The Viognier grapes we chose were right away processed. It is still typical practice for vineyards to have grape stomps, as is done at Perissos, however these specific grapes were predestined for a modern press that might draw out as much valuable juice as possible from the fruit. After going through a prolonged fermentation procedure in a stainless-steel tank, the sugars in the juice are transformed into alcohol, and you have white wine.
By summer season of next year, these grapes will end up being a 2022 Viognier offered for purchase at $38 a bottle.
By 11 a.m., all of the grapes had actually been selected. I can’t state that the 4 hours or so I invested working amongst the vines zipped, however I can state it was a great time. Everyone was slinging white wine and grape puns, sharing stories, discovering commonalities, and just delighting in the experience.
We were all dealt with to a 2015 Viognier at the winery, and, even with my restricted taste buds, I might inform it was great things: light and crisp with tips of apricot and apple, much like Humphreys stated.
I consulted with Sean Reddy and Celeen Fairbrook, who were on a date, in addition to Fairbrook’s household. Reddy was checking out from Austin, and Fairbrook is a Kingsland homeowner. Both of them appeared to be having a fun time.
” I enjoy it here. It’s a lot enjoyable, really unwinding,” Reddy stated. “It’s gorgeous. You can’t not have a fun time.”
“It assists you value the entire procedure of wine making,” Fairbrook included.
As all of us enjoyed our white wine and a light lunch of fruit and sandwiches surrounded by aging barrels of Perissos white wine, Laura Martin proposed a toast: “We were stressed, with all the heat, that no one would really offer. Thank y’ all for coming out in the middle of all this insane heat we’re having inTexas Thanks for assisting us get the fruit off the vine. We truly could not do it without y’ all.”
Perissos is an ancient Greek word discovered in the Bible that indicates “extremely plentiful; beyond what is pictured or expected.” While I just invested a couple of hours at their vineyard, I think the Martins have actually handled to cultivate an overruning enthusiasm for wine making that matches their winery’s name.
This was just the very first harvest of the year, more chances for choosing in addition to grape stomps will be arranged as the summer season rolls on. Find a full list of Highland Lakes wineries at 101HighlandLakes com for sites and addresses.
GRAPE STOMPS & & MORE
10257 U.S. 290 West, Hye
Grape stomp and trip on Saturdays in August at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.
101 Durango, Johnson City
Grape stomp onAug 20 and 21
2916 Upper Albert Road, Stonewall
Grape stomp onAug 27 and 28
464 Becker Farms Road, Fredericksburg
Grape stomps onAug 27 and 28 andSept 3 and 4.The Sept 4 occasion includes a “Lucy and The Italian Woman” outfit contest in honor of the well-known grape-stomping “I Love Lucy” episode.
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