I shoveled about two dozen scoops of fresh, Syrah grapes into the ‘stomping tub’ and stood back, leaning on my shovel and dreaming about cool grapes squishing under bare feet. A half an hour later, dozens of guests were taking off their shoes, rolling up their pants, and living the dream!
Our First Annual Capay Crush was held on the farm the last Sunday in September, and it was great fun! Like our Capay Tomato event in July, our Capay Crush event benefits The Kathleen Barsotti Non-Profit for Sustainable Agriculture, an organization that donates school supplies to farm workers' families and gives scholarships to students studying sustainable agriculture or related fields.
Although some mid-day showers threatened to muddy up the afternoon, the sun broke through the rain clouds in time to dry the ground and shine up the Capay Valley into a beautiful, bright backdrop.
The Grenache grapes on the vines perked up during the brief rain and looked wonderful in the sun as guests pulled off clusters and ate bunches. All around me people were harvesting grapes by hand, eating grapes by mouth, and crushing grapes by feet!
Then there was the wine.
I saw faces concentrated in sipping, swirling, and smelling the many local vintages that six wonderful local wineries brought to Capay Crush to be sampled. Tempranillo, Viognier, Malbec, Zinfindel, Syrah, Chardonnay, Cabernet, and more were poured in glasses, tasted, and scored on tasting sheets all evening long.
Fascinating insights into the finer points of wine tasting were presented in our Wine Talk by Dr. David Block of the UC Davis viticulture and enology department. My favorite part: Dr. Block had volunteers come on stage to sample and compare tasting notes to prove the differences in personal preference and taste. Volunteers used a wine aroma wheel to identify the flavors and smells in their wine – grapefruit, fruity, oaky, spicy were among the responses.
The live music was lovely. The tractor rides were picturesque thanks to the morning rain and sun beams. The photo booth activity we had set up couldn’t have had a prettier backdrop as the sun lowered and lengthened the shadows in the hills that flank the valley.
PHOTOS: View a slideshow of images from our Capay Crush event here.