Wine critic Alice Feiring recently said; “The benchmark for me is that if you’re growing great tomatoes, you’re making great wine. The two seem to go together”.
I would like to think she wasn’t simply making a statement about regionality and degree days. I would like to think she was also talking about an affinity for growing things; a statement about polyculture and an understanding that if you’re interested in making great wine, then you must also be interested in growing great food.
Maybe I’m giving her too much credit, but she strikes me as a smart woman!
Either way the fact remains it’s definitely how things roll here. While the picking of our Riesling and Pinot Noir grapes is about to begin, we’ve been harvesting flat out on The Food Farm since the beginning of last month. The ancients were all over it I reckon. They deemed the equivalent of February 2nd to be the starting point of the harvest season (or Lammas) building up to a climax during the Autumn Equinox (March 21st) and descending into the season of death at the end of April.
Here you could almost set your watch by the unfolding of the harvest season. Zucchini…garlic…strawberries…cucumbers…tomatillos….plums…tomatoes…onions…corn…pears… apples, apricots, tomatoes, apples, greengages, blackberries, borlottis, peaches, tomatoes, kamo kamo,porcini,quinces,eggplants,capsicum,corn,potatoesTOMATOESTOMATOESTOMATOES, figs, wine grapes, pumpkins…
The harvest train ride continues to gather steam, pushing us further, faster, hotter into food oblivion. As the nights cool and the days shorten we can feel the ride slow just enough for us to comprehend the size of the wine grape wagon and hitch it to our now efficient and fully operational locomotive, emblazoned with ‘obtain a yield’ across her side.
There is no time to contemplate how long we’ve been going for, or to wish for quieter, darker days ahead. Now there is just the relentless, ceaseless gathering in of all we’ve put out there for Mother Nature to ripen this season.
Feel free to wave flags as we hurtle through the station.