In The Vineyards


The past month has brought an explosion of green, as suddenly the vines have grown at a rapid pace. The grapes appear to be coming along nicely. I wonder though how much will be harvested.IMG_20200705_1550362

News reports I have seen indicate that alcohol consumption is up during the period of COVID-19 self-isolation. You would think that was good news for area wine makers, but it hasn’t been.

Where I live, the farmers sell a lot of their product to hotels and restaurants. With those shuttered for three months (or more), a good portion of last year’s vintage remains unsold. I suspect there are going to be problems finding storage for the bottles from this year if it turns out to be another bumper crop.

I haven’t heard anyone suggest they will leave some grapes on the vines, but I’d bet that some farmers have been thinking about it. Why spend the effort to harvest something you can’t sell?IMG_20200705_1554028

That’s just a small, local indicator of the economic dislocation worldwide brought about by the decision to shut down economies to deal with COVID-19. The ramifications will probably be felt for years.

How many students will give up on higher education because they couldn’t get a summer job? Yes, there are government supports, but there are also always those who fall through the cracks.

How many people will die, or become seriously ill, because medical procedures were put on hold, as hospitals prepared for an influx of COVID patients that never came? How would you even record that statistically?

When I was taking these pictures though, I wasn’t thinking of the economy. I was thinking of beauty.IMG_20200705_1550578

Normally we walk through the vineyards at the edge of Sulzburg. I know them well and take them for granted. They are on the sides of Castellberg, one of the hills that surround the city. You may be aware that grapes grow best on a hillside, or so I have been told.

This past Sunday, walking a new (to us) route outside of Heitersheim we came across these vineyards. What struck me most was that they are at the foot of an escarpment. Not what I am used to seeing. There is a slight slope, but I wouldn’t have described it as a hill.

Struck by the beauty, the contrast between the cliff and the field, I took a few pictures to share with you.


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