• Blake and Katrina

The Solstice Acre Vineyard

Ten years ago, Blake got it into his head that we must try making wine from scratch. We lived in Eugene, Oregon at the time. Blake called around and found a place that would allow him to pick 100 pounds in wine grapes, and, as luck would have it, the prime picking day happened to be my birthday.

We arrived at the vineyard, and were led by a 12 year-old-boy on a four-wheeler with a shotgun banging from the back to the top of a muddy hill. A shotgun was hanging from the back of his vehicle. Blake and I slid up and down the hill, rain pouring, picking grapes as fast as we could. When we had finished, the boy returned to take the now-full grape buckets away.

At the bottom of the hill, two men were smoking cigars in the shed, listening to Ducks football. Their cigar ashes blended with the fruit as they dropped our grapes into the crusher. Though a memorable way to spend my birthday, I was not pleased to spend it shivering in the mud. Unfortunately, the grapes produced a delicious pinot noir, and Blake was convinced that we needed a vineyard of our own.

Which leads me to today. After tilling and weeding a large patch of our acreage this morning, I again found myself shivering in the mud, as Blake and I planted fifty Marquette grape vines. This is a second try at this grand experiment, with many of our last grapes not making it through the hard winter. Blake has chosen a different root stocks and a new location, and as always we hope that he will finally have his vineyard.

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