Autumn, part 1
Even though I am mainly a fan of sun and warmth and so I really love the summer, autumn in Slovenia is also a wonderful season to experience, just like all other seasons actually ;).
The colors of autumn seem even more bright here, especially when we still have those beautiful sunny days like last week. Slowly I see the leaves on the trees turn from green to brown, red, yellow, and orange. The ivy that I planted in the spring and that has to grow all over the canopy at the back of our house, is also starting to turn from green to bright red.
It is a pity that I can never really capture the autumn colors in my photos. Unfortunately, I don’t have a camera and only take pictures with my phone. In general, these are pretty good photos, but in one way or another, on the autumn photos, you can never really see how beautiful the colors are. I have selected some of the best ones ;).
When we think of autumn, we think of three things: Bine’s birthday on October 7, collecting and roasting chestnuts, and the grape harvest, here called »Trgatev«. I will start with the Trgatev, which usually takes place towards the end of September but generally started a little later this year due to a fairly wet summer. The Trgatev is a festive occasion where family and friends come together to help pick the grapes and then of course have a party afterward. In our area, every self-respecting farmer has his own vineyard. The wine that comes from this is generally for personal use, a small portion is sold here and there. We can therefore always go to the village when we are in need of a few bottles of wine for visitors or tourists. After keeping the vineyards tidy throughout the year, the harvest is an important day. They start in the morning with a drink to get warm and then they get to work. There are usually 2 people in each row, each picking their own side. Everyone has a bucket where the grapes go into to. Two people walk around with a large »bucket« on their backs to empty the buckets from the pickers and take them to the tractor. There are large plastic barrels on a trailer where the grapes are gathered. The carriers, therefore, run up and down all the time so that the pickers always have empty buckets and can continue picking. In between, the owner of the vineyard usually walks around with wine and spring water and a glass to provide the pickers with a »spritzer«. Of course, they shouldn’t get thirsty ;).
When it concerns a large vineyard where people are picking for 5,6 hours, a break is made towards the end of the morning to eat something, for example, sandwiches. When all grapes have been picked, they are immediately taken to the press. The juice is collected in large barrels, the seeds, skins, and sticks are separated automatically. At the end of the harvest, everyone goes to the owner’s house to eat another hot meal and celebrate the harvest. Wine from last season is drunk and of course the fresh grape juice of that day. There are always quite a few bottles immediately filled with the fresh juice to drink in the coming days. After a day or two, the fermentation process starts and the juice already turns sour. That is still being drunk, but a little later it is no longer drinkable, and we have to wait for it to turn into wine :).