It's a peaceful sight now, the vineyard.
Leaves turn yellow and red, then brown, and then blow away in the chilly winds, leaving brown skeletal fingers behind, clutching at the guide wires. It'll be time to prune soon, but until then, like the vines, we'll be taking the time to catch our breath. What an incredible vintage. Of course, the quiet of the vineyard has been punctuated by the distant boom of shotguns heralding the duck hunting season, that yearly ritual of early starts, cold hands, wet dogs. And happily, a few ducks for the pot and to share with friends. The breasts were quickly whipped off of a duck, seasoned with salt, pepper and fresh thyme, and seared skin side down in a hot pan until nicely browned, then popped into a hot oven for eight minutes. While they rested, the pan was deglazed with a dollop of Spade Oak Vineyard's St Laurent and a spoon of cherry preserve, cooked down until thick and syrupy. Just delicious served on quickly-wilted spinach from the garden and some lentils, with the sauce spooned over. And of course, the rest of the St Laurent, which goes so beautifully with game and lamb. A truly wonderful meal; can't wait for next year!
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