Blessing grapes a tradition as wineries' harvest begins
With the harvest of wine grapes underway at wineries all along the Central Coast, a ceremony that's become a tradition at Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards took place Thursday inside one of the company's crushing rooms in Buellton.
About 20 winery owners, workers and visitors gathered around half a dozen bins filled with clusters of pinot grigio to witnes Father John Finley conduct a blessing of the grapes, asking not only for a good harvest but also a successful fermentation and bottling, ultimately ending with fine vintage varietals on consumers' tables.
In my 40 some years growing grapes in Santa Barbara County, I haven’t seen two back-to-back years that reached this level in volume and quality. I credit the weather and also the condition of our vineyards. When Mother Nature leaves you alone during harvest, and you’re able to pick almost everything at optimum, it’s something special.