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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Grape country

     For over a century this region has been home to a large grape juice industry.  When the glaciers during the last ice age scraped Canada, dug out the Great Lakes and deposited the debris in glacial moraines across the north east, they created great ridges of gravel and soil along the banks of the lakes.  This well-drained soil, combined with the moderating effects of the breezes off the large lakes have created a "terroir" that is ideal for grapes.  There are 40,000 acres under cultivation.  It is similar in climate and soil to the German wine producing area.  
     Barely visible in the background is Lake Erie.  For most of the last century the grapes were of the Concord variety.  Welch's is based here.  They have silos for grapes to be used in grape juice.  In the past decade, however, several vineyards have converted to hybrid and vinifera grapes, and there are now 23 wineries.  We haven't been to any yet, but we will.  
    We have been carefully following the state of affairs in Colorado Springs and the USAFA.  Less than a week ago we were there.  The academy has been evacuated, and some of our friends in the "springs' are preparing to do so.  We wish them all the very best of good fortune.
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