This weekend was our annual apple-picking weekend. My oldest daughter can now scamper up the steep orchard hills easily—too easily, as she leaves me in the dust. My youngest daughter still needs to be carried sometimes, but she still managed to eat three whole apples by herself while we picked. She has her dad's appetite.
The weather was marvelous—sunny, crisp and cool. And it's been a great apple season in upstate New York. My personal favorite is the Jonagold—a big pale-green apple with sweet flavor backed by just a tinge of acidity. My daughters seem to like whatever they can reach.
As we walked through the orchard rows, we passed a few other families. Many of them had three generations represented and several of them were speaking Italian. I also heard Polish and one or two other languages. In every case, the oldest generation in the family was beaming as they showed their grandchildren the ropes.
I'm always pleasantly surprised when I see Old World culture and its connection to the land still going strong—especially here in the States. The farm seems under such attack these days—economically and socially. But it's something I've always envied, being a city-born and -bred kid. Maybe that's part of the reason I fell in love with wine—the agricultural aspect is just as important as sitting around the dinner table with the finished product.
What about you? Were you turned on to wine just by drinking it? Or did something else fuel your interest along the way?