What do wine and planes have in common?

Yes, it is Crush 2016, yes, we have had fruit come in, no, it hasn’t been busy like the last few years.  I don’t recall a slower beginning to the prior harvests I have participated in.

Sauvignon Blanc, Sagemoor Vineyard, Pasco, WA:

Arrived/pressed 08/27/16, almost dry (1.5 Brix) 09/07/16, Lagana Cellars Glycol (temperature control) jacketed stainless tanks slow the fermentation down a bit.

Orange Muscat, Lonesome Springs Vineyard, Benton City, WA:

Arrived/pressed 08/29/16 and ever so close to dry for Locati Cellars.

Chardonnay, Cockburn Ranch Vineyard, Milton Freewater, OR:

Arrived/pressed 09/03/16 at Lagana Cellars, also in a glycol jacketed stainless tank, is fermenting gently, lowering the Brix daily.

Pinot Grigio, Reed Vineyard, Pasco, WA:

Arrived (finally)/pressed 09/06/16 at Locati Farm for Locati Cellars is in a chilled tank just getting the fermentation going.  Note the difference in the harvest bin photo as this is machine harvested fruit rather than the hand-picked we typically get.  Lots of free run juice in this batch.

Pinot Noir, Breezy Slope Vineyard, Milton Freewater, OR:

Arrived/crushed 09/09/16 for Lagana Cellars, about 1/3 of the fruit has been foot stomped on the stems, inoculation 09/10/16 – first red grapes are in the house!  This means punch downs three times a day begin now.

Riesling, Dionysus Vineyard, Pasco, WA:

Anticipated 09/10/16 for Lagana Cellars

We bottled reds for a few wineries where Lagana Cellars has the stainless steel tanks: Adamant Cellars, Enchanted Cellars, and G. Cuneo Cellars.  With the Riesling on its way in it will be nice to have more room in the cellar.  We are out in the vineyards sampling again to determine what will come in next week.  I think we are finally working Crush!

Meanwhile, having most of the Labor Day Weekend off was a treat we took full advantage of.  For the week I have had a flight lesson every few days.  Naturally, since I am focused and learning, I am not taking pictures.

First taste of flying a small plane
October 2015 we rented a plane for a family visit; returning I held the yoke while Hubby referenced a radio channel.

Last year, when we rented a plane to visit my family, Hubby was looking up a radio signal we needed and I held the yoke.  My daughter took a picture of this moment (actually several I discovered when I asked her for ‘the’ photo) and posted it to Facebook.  It took on a life of its own about me flying the plane.  I was only attempting to keep the plane from tilting as the map was large and pressure on the pilot’s yoke tipped the wings or dove the nose a bit making me edgy; I didn’t have my feet on the rudder pedals, Hubby did.  But the concept stuck and really learning to fly has been so very exciting.

Sunday we flew to Hood River, Oregon’s airport to have Hubby fly a sailplane and discuss a possible ship that was mentioned for sale there.  Once we were off the ground I took the controls for my third lesson, climbing to altitude, leveling, and flying (straight and level) to the ridge just before Hood River where Hubby landed us at the airport.  Alas, the wind was gusting to about 32 miles an hour and he chose not to ride.  But we did manage to have a conversation and learn what direction to take to determine if this was a good lead.  With any luck we will procure a glider, from somewhere, within the next few months.  Soaring in the Walla Walla Valley is our goal; one we hope to share with visitors and anyone interested in learning to fly a sailplane.  Watch for it!  Hubby flew us home as the winds picked up and carried us all the way to Walla Walla with a few bumps to keep things interesting.

Lewiston, ID motorcycle ride
Our ride to Lewiston, ID over Labor Day weekend was my first motorcycle ride this summer.

We have had the plane two months now and I haven’t been on the motorcycle all summer.  Monday we rode to Lewiston, Idaho and had lunch before returning home; it was excellent riding temperature.  Hoping it won’t be as long before the next opportunity to ride comes up.

The cooler weather we have experienced during Crush this year makes learning to fly wonderful.  Every chance we get my CFI Hubby and I squeeze in a flight with me in the left seat.  By day, he sells potato farming equipment and I make and sell wine.  And we call the friendly and beautiful Walla Walla Valley home; life truly is wonderful.

I have to ask, are there any pilots or flight students with any advise to offer as I learn to fly in our Cessna 182A? Not the best trainer, but what we have.  Any soaring folks?


Carlos' experimental light sport at Martin Field.
An experimental plane: this means not everything about it is approved by the FAA. You meet the neatest people at the airport…

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