Pumpkins, Goblins & Wine
October 1st, 2014
Peggy Fiandaca

Harvest 2014 is over and our wine is safely in its aging vessel. We had a terrific harvest even with a wet monsoon season - 14 inches of rain between August and October. Grapes were beautiful in color and flavor. Overall we picked about 4.25 tons per acre of Syrah, Petite Sirah, Grenache, and Viognier which is about average at Lawrence Dunham Vineyards.

 2014 Harvest at Lawrence Dunham Vineyards
Chiricahua Circle Members Celebrating Harvest

 Fall Colors at Lawrence Dunham Vineyards
  October brings a lot of changes in the vineyard – vines go into dormancy, trees turn vibrant colors, the light makes dramatic shifts, and even the air has a different smell as fall arrives.

Additionally, our flavor profile seems to change as the days get shorter. Apples and pears are now ripe and pumpkins are ready for picking.

And according to statistics, people switch from drinking mostly white wines to choosing more red wines.

I never really understood that but for some reason restaurant owners tell me that they sell less red wine in the summer months and red wine sales begin to pick up in October.

Here are five great ideas to get you in the spirit of the fall season.

1. Poach pears in Lawrence Dunham Vineyards’ Petite Sirah. Bring to boil 2 cups wine, ¼ cup sugar, 1 juiced orange and zest, cinnamon stick, and a couple of cloves. Reduce and simmer 5 minutes. Peel 4 firm, ripe pears leaving stem and slice ½-inch off the bottom to create a flat bottom. Poach pears in wine mixture covered, turning every 5 minutes to get even color, for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool pears. Serve room temperature with a reduction spooned atop of the poaching liquid.

2. Grab some pruned vines and create wreaths for gifts or your front door. Contact your local vineyard or take one of our wreath making workshops.

3. It is time to do something with all those corks you have been saving. Pull out the glue gun and make that cork wreath, trivet, message board, ornaments, or other creative idea you might come up with. For more creative ideas, check out LDV Urban Vineyard Chic on Pinterest.

4. Invite the neighbors over for butternut squash (or substitute with pumpkin) soup, crusty loaf of bread, and Lawrence Dunham Vineyards’ Viognier or Grenache. The recipe is available at this link.

5. Make a great appetizer plate to share with someone special paired with a bottle of Syrah. I would suggest a chunk of aged parmesan cheese, gorgonzola blue cheese, smoked almonds, prosciutto and a dried salami, fig balsamic, and Italian bread. Top it off with some rich, dark chocolate.

October brings sweater weather, hockey season, fall farmer’s markets, and goblins. All of my favorites. Enjoy the season.