Papaya Ruminations



Frequent readers of these missives may not need to be warned of this, however, for others:

Beware!

The following may or may not contain information regarding wine related matters. You read on at your own risk, perhaps choosing to waste precious time in the possibly vain hope of learning something regarding grapes or related matters.


Admittedly, I often come through with a tidbit or two, but with a headline and lead photo of Papayas and flowers, one can't be sure that this

will one of those times.

Having said that - how pretty are those Lillys from the yard as well as the fruit from some undoubtedly overpriced organic market nearby?!


They're appropriate for Spring, and we can tell it is, by the wacky juxtaposition of sunny 80 degree days followed by fog and temps 20+ degrees lower the next day. Ahh, that's the glorious Bay Area for you.

Celebrate the longer days with a hike, bike ride, dog walk, glass of Rosé on the front steps - or perhaps even with a visit to a wine area north of us if you're vaccinated - or feeling a bit brave.


 

After all early Spring is the time of annual renewal and grape vines are no exception to the rule. Looking at the gelatinous seeds of yesterday's Papaya had me thinking about Grape Pips. Those are the seeds within the flesh of the grape that are, of course, necessary for the wild propagation of the species.

In more cultivated vineyard settings they are still important. Thinking about the pips brought me back to a visit with my son via helicopter to the Atlas Peak vineyards of the Mondavi Family vineyards for a tour and lunch amid them in the Summer of 2015

(a story for another time!).

There we wandered through the vines with, Dina Mondavi and Tony Coltrin, the Mondavi Master Winemaker and employee of almost 4 decades.

Education ensued!


One interesting tidbit of that day was when Tony had us eat the grape pips on different sides of the same row of vines to see the differences. This was in late August and the contrast between them was clear - the acidity, bitterness and crunch of one side told Tony that although they would be harvesting the one side in days, it would be another 3-5 days to pick the other side. Despite all the chemical analysis, sugar measurements, visual clues, etc., he and his vineyard managers still do this in order to augment their other information before making decisions to harvest.

Farming,

Come on - how cool is that?!


Back to the present: I can't say that there are any grapes on the vines of Napa and other grapefields to our north (or south until you come to South America where they have already harvested their crop). However early Spring is the time for Bud Break, demonstrating that the vines are getting ready for

another year of production.

So, why not beat the Summer crowds and take a day trip to a wine area soon. Even with more and more people venturing out and about (as we hopefully put Covid behind us) it won't be busy and the days of April can be wonderful in Napa the Central Coast, Sonoma or perhaps the Santa Cruz Mountains for the slightly more adventurous.

Cut up a Papaya, some melon, add some berries, and other fruit to start your day and get going. You'll be glad to be thinking of seeds, grapes, vines, sun, wind and the interesting road(which often, along with the topography, are my favorite part of such trips) to come for the day.


Enjoy!

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