Without particularly intending to, I realized that I'd taken several vineyard photos that showed the approach of the winter season through a chilly quality of the light and a selection of wind-blown leaves and (comparatively) bare vines. It seems a fitting conclusion to this autumn vineyard photo essay to show the photos which look forward to winter. First, a view of Mourvedre vines (which are always the first vines to look like they're shutting down for winter, even in October when they're still laden with fruit) with just a few lonely second-crop clusters against a chilly light-blue sky:
It seems to be combination of pale sunlight and near-white skies that give the photos their wintery feel. This next view, looking south up through two Grenache Blanc rows, has that same watery light, and the dead leaves on the ground only reinforce the appearance of impending winter:
And finally, one shot (not dissimilar from the shot of the newly-seeded cover crop from part 4 of this photo essay) of the tilled earth in the Vermentino section of the vineyard. The main difference in the feel of the shots is that this one faces north-east, and the younger Vermentino vines appear more fragile than the older Roussanne vines in the previous photo.
I hope that you have enjoyed this photo series. This is a particularly beautiful time of year to visit Paso Robles, and the moderate temperatures (70s during the day, 30s and 40s at night) are additional incentives. I was struck on my drive out to the vineyard this morning by just how beautiful is this part of the world in which we have the privilege of living and working. Another sign of the season: stay tuned next week for Thanksgiving wine suggestions.