2009 BMW 750i: Yet Another Road Trip (part II)
September 22, 2009
Yep, those are Cabernet Sauvignon grapes -- about a month away from being harvested. The second part of our Summer Road Trip took us about 250 miles north to Paso Robles for a tour of the wine country (again). We're "members" of the J. Lohr winery who invited us up to learn a few things about harvesting and blending Rhone-style wines, but not from those Cabernet grapes. Click through if you care.
This here is a (surprise) French-made Pellenc wine harvester. When you've got a day to three days to get all of the grapes off the vines, hand-harvesting is a thing of the past. This crazy machine literally straddles a row of vines, shakes only the ripe fruit from the vines (leaving raisins and green grapes behind), and conveys them to a two-ton hopper a row away that takes them to a waiting truck.
Those plastic hoops vibrate the grapes away from the plant and they drop to the floor and are moved along the conveyors. How 'bout them tarz (480/70R28)!
More harvesting in progress...
...and of course the fermenting, aging, and finally blending. We were given the opportunity to make our own "GSM" (Grenache Syrah Mourvedre) Rhone blend. It wasn't as good as J. Lohr's, and it wasn't pretty either.
The good news is that the 750i now achieved a more respectable 19.3 mpg on the 362 miles we piled on getting to Paso Robles.
Next up: Picking apples in See Canyon...
Chris Walton, Chief Road Test Editor @ 16,550 miles