Tuesday, April 8, 2014

You don't have to drink wine to enjoy a winery :)

My in laws, Fran and Mike Berryhill know this all too well.  For generations, the family has raised wine grapes in Ceres, California.  When they converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints faith before Joe was born, they continued harvesting grapes, but gave up wine and all other alcoholic beverages completely.  Some find that practically impossible to believe.  Many didn't understand it, and as a result, they found themselves alienated from their close circle of friends.  If you choose not to drink wine, what's the fun in having you as a friend?!!!  
I find it inspiring.  
They found something they believed in and they went for it.  The gospel of Jesus Christ rang true to their hearts and they immersed themselves in it completely-- changing their lifestyle in accordance with the guidelines the church provided, knowing that ultimately it would bring them and their family, joy.
   Joe knows more about wine than most, and he's never tasted it.  Makes me laugh.  When he was young, he worked alongside his dad and learned, step by step, how to plant, grow, tend and harvest the grapes.  Besides being one of the most spectacular views as the setting sun kisses the vines, the ranch was also a magnificent tool that taught Joe and his siblings how to work.  Oh how they know how to work.  Mike and Fran instilled this trait, among many others, in their children.  
I thank them every day, because I know there aren't too many "Joe packages" out there in this world :) 

Which makes me think, especially on those extra whiney days, that we need to rent a huge plot of land somewhere and make our kids go weed it.  Over and over again ;) Of course,  7am in our backyard every Saturday morning worked pretty well for me after a kick in the pants (Love you, Dad...that's for another day)...

I digress.  This does have to do with another beautiful part of Chile.  The central region of Chile is known for it's vineyards and wineries.  We had to go see them!  It didn't matter one iota that we wouldn't be doing any wine tasting.  Grapes are in the Berryhill blood.  The kids needed to experience them out in South America too :)
So, we headed about 2 hours south of Santiago, to Mont Gras Winery, with the Whitt Family.  Glad to see that Scott was prepared for the fun.  Loved his shirt.

As we pulled into the parking lot, we discovered that another another family we know really well, the Gordon's, were there too!  The girls were thrilled.
Everyone got suited up for the big day.  I LOVE this one.
The day started early, so we wouldn't be attacked by bees.  Our guide supplied us with all of the necessary tools we would need for the morning, and then he said, "Vamos a trabajar!"

It was time to go to work!

We were to fill each of our baskets up with as many grapes as possible.  I didn't get one, because I figured I would help the kids with the process.  They took the clippers and simply said, "Don't worry, Mom, we've got this."  
I literally had to beg them to let me cut a few, just so I could say that I participated!  Cutest group of migrant workers I've ever seen :)

Luke and Joe were a perfect team
Jake was the man.  He LOVED this responsibility and took it very seriously. 
I know I say it again and again, but I just can't get enough of this face.  

Joe had to explain that this wasn't quite how they harvested growing up.  He described the machinery that was so big, it's tires went on either side of a row of vines, and it shook them back and forth until the grapes were free... there was a science to it. 
Maybe we weren't being super efficient, but we loved it just the same.  

When all of our baskets were filled, we were ready for the real fun to begin.  

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