September is a month when all the senses are awakened in wine country.
It’s the heart of the harvest season, and although the early-ripening varieties already have been picked in many locales, the vast majority of grapes are still on the vines — just days or weeks away from attaining their optimum sugar level.
For the eyes, this is the time of veraison, when the grapes change from green to shades of purple and gold. This is wine country’s version of autumn in Vermont.
For the ears, gondolas transporting grapes from the vineyards to the wineries can be heard rattling down the roads at all hours of the day and night.
(It’s also not unusual to hear the workers in the vineyard whistling or even singing as they clip the clusters of grapes and carefully place them is baskets.)
For the nose, the aroma of fermenting fruit drifts throughout wine country. It’s a heavy scent that’s intoxicating (in a completely safe way).
And for the tastebuds, the flavor of just-picked grapes — which some winemakers share with lucky visitors — provides a preview of the wine about to be made from them.
Harvest is in full swing. And there’s more than just the aroma of ripe wine grapes in the hair.
There’s also a palpable sense of hope.