Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Homage de Chateau de Beaucastel

When on vacation returning from visiting my daughters and granddaughter, Illijana and I stopped at Tablas Creek Vineyards in Paso Robles, CA.  It is a winery closely associated with the Chateauneuf du Pape winery Chateau de Beaucastel in the southern Rhone area of France.  Tablas Creek is planted in vines that were taken directly from the vines of Beaucastel, and while I know that the grapevine will not ripen fruit here so near the coast, I decided to plant a Mourvedre grape vine in a pot as a homage to the wines of Chateau de Beaucastel and the southern Rhone.  Here is a photo of the new vine.  I put some slate pieces around it to mimic the "galletes" (stones) found in the vineyards of Beaucastel.  I also got a vine for Cabot Vineyards in Orleans, and while it may not ripen there either, it has a better chance than here (and a winemaker/grapegrower who would know what to do to help it.)
 I also planted some lettuce, chard, kale, and tah tsai green today in our winter veggie bed.
 We are getting a fall crop of raspberries and they are delicious.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Apple harvest

I picked apples from the apple espalier yesterday.  It wasn't a great year for apples, and the deer have gotten a bunch of them, but I picked the 9 varieties on the trees and then made apple juice in the Champion juicer with them.  We usually make apple butter or press the apples in an apple press and then freeze the juice, but we are out of space in the freezer due to a large bean crop this year so I'm going to hot water bath can the juice later today.  Here is a picture of the apples just after washing (which I did because the bag I was collecting them in broke as I picked it up, and dumped all the apples on the ground.)
Apple harvest - 9 varieties