Golden Girl (and the Ed) go grape harvesting.
Who would have thought grape picking could be so fun? At first not me, anyway!
I went with Merill Eco Tours, they organise various activities based around the environment including sea salt harvesting, bird watching, nature walks…
In order to get away from the scorching summer sun, we had to meet at 7am for an early morning harvest. Grape harvesting in Malta usually takes place end of August. We were taken to a vineyard at the foot of Mdina, so the view was great. The fortress was up on it’s hill as if it were watching over us making sure the grapes were picked right. That might be a little exaggerated but the setting was perfect!
We were handed secateurs and crates and got to work picking the grapes, making sure to handle the bunches with care and not leave any behind. We could feel the heat creeping up as we harvested. The grapes are usually picked in sets of two people, one taking care of one side of the tree and someone else the other. It was amusing looking through the vine and seeing your partner at work, it was like playing hide and seek through the bushes.
We were told a crate of grapes made 25 bottles and we had quite a few full! So lots of wine! The wine making process takes months though so we would have to wait a bit to try the wine made from the grapes we harvested.
After picking the grapes there is usually a little tasting with nibbles and wine to enjoy. Hard work deserves a good treat! The organisers told us people usually come on these trips and realise that drinking local Maltese wine is important for the business. Tourists tend to come and order French, Italian or Spanish wines at restaurants, when the Maltese produce is just as nice.
I will look forward to seeing a White 2013 Delicata on the shelves and I will be able to say I played (a small) part in the process of making it, which has to be a proud moment!