In Oregon, we had a very late and cool summer. And now, summer is walking out the back door with her long trails of warm breezes flowing behind her. Autumn has one wet and muddy foot in the front door, and is bringing with her the scent of earthy decay and ripe apples.
Summer’s warmth was very late in arriving this year. And the whole season was unusually cool. It leaves my husband and i wondering if any of the vineyards will have good fruit this year. We have had a couple of rains, but, the fruit needs about three more weeks to ripen. It is pretty difficult (close to impossible) to make excellent wine from unripened grapes.
The thing with the rains in this part of Oregon, is that they get seriously down to business. None of this rain one day, clear for a week. It starts to rain some time in October, and for the most part it continues to rain until a little let up in April or May. It gets cloudy and grey, which makes us all very needy for a day of sun here and there. Growing up in southern Illinois was a different story with those beautiful fall days and cold yet sunny winters.
Back to the grapes. If the rain spout really turns on before the grapes are ripe, they will rot. Not good. No one wants a vineyard full of rotting wine grapes. But, we shall see, as only time will tell.
A couple of nights ago, Peter made a dish of insalata caprese. He had some beautiful tomatoes from our friend, another winemaker and a fantastic gardener, Dick Ferraro. Peter bought some basil and mozzarella at the farmer’s market. Those three ingredients, along with salt and a good olive oil is all it takes, but, Peter also likes to add an excessively good balsamic vinegar that is all thick and sweet. It was so pretty that i had to get a photograph of it. An image of the last of summer on a plate. We also have a tiny bit of summer, in a few peaches, sitting on our kitchen counter being eyed every day for the exact time of juicy sweetness.