Thursday morning we had a delightful time at Catoctin Breeze Vineyard where we helped harvest several rows of Viognier grapes. We were a group of five volunteers who enjoy vineyards and wineries from the vineyard to making the wine disappear. The day was hot but the almost continuous breeze was great.
The Viognier grapevines are planted on a long gentle slope. White buckets were placed every few feet. Once we reached the next bucket we began filling the new bucket. This not only allowed the bucket to be lighter and easier to lift but also prevented the grapes on the bottom from being crushed before reaching the winery.
The owner of Catoctin Breeze Vineyard Wojciech Fizyta asked us to presort the grapes as we cut the clusters. This was easy enough to do as there was very little that needed to be removed – just a few raisined grapes and a few grape leaves.
A few of the grapevines showed some signs of Japanese beetles. This was easy to spot as the leaves were mottled where the beetles have eaten through the leaves.
After the Viognier grapes were harvested we walked to the tasting room and were offered a glass of wine or a beer. We then sat out on the lawn where we relaxed and enjoyed our time. Soon a wonderful lunch prepared by Alicja Fizyta was arranged for us under the awning of the tasting room. Catoctin Breeze Vineyard knows how to treat visitors and volunteers. When you have the opportunity you will want to visit the winery. Check the Catoctin Breeze Vineyard website for hours.