If you went just about anywhere last Thursday Sept. 21 on the last day of summer, you would have likely seen a lot of harvest activity, and in wine country, you’d see grapes getting picked and hauled along windy roads to crush pads where they will go from being grapes to a fermented beverage — wine — in your glass.
September is California Wine Month, and for California Wineries, it’s definitely harvest time, especially after the late August/early September heat spike, which means everyone is BUSY BUSY BUSY!
It’s wonderful to get out into the vineyards if you can to see the vines plump with fruit, or to visit a winery and see the process in action.
But as I mentioned in the earlier post, for Kosher wine giant Herzog, Jewish Holy Days during harvest means they close down several times and for several days during the busiest time of the year.
In addition to closing on Fridays at sunset and all day on Saturday, Herzog shuts down for the major Jewish holidays even during harvest: for Rosh Hashanah (last week’s New Year’s celebration), then closure for Erev Sukkot on October 4, then closed for Sukkot October 5 – October 6. The restaurant and tasting room are also closed, and on these dates as well: for Hosanna Raba on October 11, for Shemini Atzeret on October 12, and Simchat Torah on October 13.
Yom Kippur, meaning the ‘Day of Atonement,’ is the holiest day of the year, and this year occurs when Herzog closes on Friday and Saturday. Yom Kippur 2017 begins in the evening of Friday September 29 and ends in the evening of Saturday September 30. To mark the ‘Sabbath of Sabbaths’, Jews fast for 25 hours and pray devoutly for most of the day, with five different sessions – Maariv, Shacharit, Musaf, Minchah and Neilah.
In July, well before harvest, Sue and I visited Herzog. With head winemaker Joe Hurliman as our guide, we toured the facility, saw the bottling line, learned the history, and tasted through a number of California wines. Continue reading