The fact is, I shouldn't own a car. I should be sharing one with a dozen other drivers: once a fortnight I should have it to buy sacks of chookfood or take Harriet and Bea Cat to the vet or ferry the menagerie to Mum's place for the weekend. Organising a communal automobile arrangement (one where noone minds that I leave the boot festooned with bits of stray lucerne hay and mushroom compost) is one of my long term ambitions. In the meantime, I am driving the car every day for a week. Blah.
The one thing that makes me feel better about driving is acquiring some ridiculously large quantity of biomass while I have the wheels to carry it with: 17 sacks of horse poo, a couple of bales of straw, 50kg of exotic barley for the brewmeister. So as I was taking the car for its constitutional pootle yesterday, I was relieved to spy a man standing on St Georges Road just south of Bell St, surrounded by towering boxes of grapes.
We came home with a massive carton of these lovelies:
Grenache grapes, from Wildwood vineyard in Bulla.
One of my longterm career ambitions has been grape-treading. Tragically, I couldn't be bothered sterilising the bathtub, so we resorted to our trusty fruit press (an absurdly spendy bit of equipment that we mostly use to crush the honey out of honeycomb, but which was also integral to Operation Cider Y2K13, Operation Feijoa Wine Y2K13, and Operation Pear Juice, and which I am pleased to use as often as possible so as to reduce the cost per use ratio from heinous to ... less heinous).
The result was many, many litres of grenache juice, which is currently sitting in a carboy with a dash of sodium metabisulphite to kill any rogue bacteria. The hydrometer reading (a measurement of sugar content) tells us that we're heading dangerously into dessert wine territory with this stuff. I'll let you know in a year.
Meanwhile, it turns out that pressing grapes results not only in grape juice, but pressed grapes. The chooks were rapturous for about five minutes and now never want to see a grape again.
Here's hoping the citizens of the compost bin have a longer grape tolerance.