An official tally of how much grape mush ended in the barels is 530 liters. That’s not even half of what we predicted. This shows how bad this year was. From ten achres of land under grapevines, the normal amount of product should be a ton and a half. Everything above this number is much appreciated and welcome, but anything below the line is just not enough of a payoff. It’s like working with debt and still plan to invest in the new cycle. This amount we got is not that bad, we can still make wine and brandy from it, but not as much as we did the last year. I remember when we had to go from door to door in our neighborhood and ask people if they had a spare barrel. That year, we had 2 700 kilograms of grapes, 300 kilograms shy of 3 tons. And that’s from that same vineyard. Just imagine the difference between having more than you can handle, and the next year nothing, none, almost not even worth going there to collect the grapes because we had a year when we picked only two buckets of grapes, which is below 20 kilograms. How sad is that?
All I am saying, if you are a farmer, you are also a hardcore gambler. You can do anything properly, and enjoy watching your vineyards grow only to step at the entrance and see the whole field collapsed, the leaves burnt to dark brown, spots and cut on the vine, markings of a disease that incubated for years and burst out, some vines perished, dried up and died in the field, weeds grew over and above everything you cultivated the whole summer at the peak of heatwaves. It can happen, no matter how much effort you placed, and this is the life of a farmer.
So this year, we only have 530 liters of grape mush. The quality is not quite there. Ripe grapes are the perfect delicacy for the stags, birds, and field mouses. If we waited a while longer, we risk finding the field empty, so we collected the grapes while we had something to collect. This poor year in the village when nothing sprouted and flourished as expected, you pick, harvest, pluck, and get anything you can before the winter hits.