Having returned from our trip to Traverse City, it was time to check on “our” grapes. We have been so excited to be sourcing Chambourcin grapes from one of our favorite wineries. It was another Saturday evening and Little Kentucky River Winery is a great place to spend a relaxing evening enjoying a bottle of wine and fantastic local entertainers.
Of course we were excited to see “our” grapes. We were a little concerned at first when the plants didn’t seem as full as we thought they would, but recognized that pruning can be part of the growing process.
It was a perfect night. While our weather had been extremely hot and humid, there was a cool breeze which brought relief to the wine pavilion. We settled in at a table with our picnic and wine purchases. Gewurtraminer for Bushmaster and Chambourcin for me. We were barely finished eating when Bushmaster could stand it no longer and insisted we go out to the vines.
Unfortunately, we were not prepared for what we saw. The relentless onslaught of Japanese beetles had stressed the plants and devastated this year’s crop. Sadly, there would not be enough grapes for even a 6 gallon batch. David, the owner, had done his best to spray, but the rains had repeatedly washed it away leaving the beetles with a harvest of their own.
We were disappointed to say the least, but we would not allow it to ruin a beautiful evening. Although we received no rain, we were treated to a rainbow and the acoustic stylings of Greg Ziesemer and Kriss Luckett. As a bonus, their adorable seven year old performed during their breaks. The guitar was as big as he was and he felt right at home on stage. We later learned that his dad had only shown him one chord and he had figured out all the rest by ear. He had actually begun play at 16 months old! What a treat to hear this incredibly talented little boy.
Our Chambourcin quest is not over. We’ve been flirting with the idea of a trip to New York in the fall. Now we might just have to make it happen!