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Stories from the valley

Autumn in the Vineyards

Contributed by Eileen Javora Boeger

Vineyards are beautiful in their vibrant summer green, but add fiery fall colors and the beauty goes to another level.

Autumn in the vineyards is a truly magical time. The dramatic color change signals the vines have given all the energy they can to the fruit and are ready to take a much needed rest going into winter. And in between, we enjoy the colorful show!

The deepening shades are a sign that harvest is near end. This makes the transition even more wonderful as it means I will be a harvest widow no longer!

Married to a winemaker for 8 years, I know the two happiest days of harvest are the first and last days grapes are crushed.

One of my fall favorites are these Carignan grape vines. They have huge leaves and fruit usually ripens slowly so it gets picked near the end of harvest.

What is so striking is that different grape varietals also have different fall hues. Some mellow into a beautiful gold, like this Italian varietal: Negroamaro.

Other varietals like these Italian Charbono grapes, mix in all the colors: a bit of red, some orange and yellow too.

The most striking of all at Boeger Winery are the Aglianico vines. This Italian varietal deepens into a red that borders on maroon. It is most distinct and eye-catching.

Not to be outdone though, once the vines have finished their show, we have the pear orchard to catch our eye. There too, the colors depend on the variety of pear. The Bartlett leaves tend to turn a deep orange and the asian pear trees have a golden hue.

All beautiful, all magical.