The highlight of the Livermore Valley wine scene is the annual Harvest Festival. This celebration of the crush season features special tastings, events and activities at dozens of area wineries on the Sunday and Monday of Labor Day weekend. Before the Festival, though, the crush season truly begins with a very special ceremony: the blessing of the grapes.
The Harvest Festival, including the Blessing, is organized by the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association. This year, the blessing ceremony was held at 3 Steves Winery. It was one of those days in Livermore where the ridgelines look close enough to touch and from the hillside at 3 Steves the vineyards stretched out in every direction. An ideal location for such an event!
Everyone attending the Blessing was given a glass of 3 Steves Chardonnay and welcomed by Chris Chandler, executive director of the Association. She was joined by hosts Steve Burman and Steve Ziganti (two of the 3 Steves), and three local clergy at the edge of the vineyard for the ceremony. After a few words of greeting from Chris, Pastor Steve Wilde of the First Presbyterian Church offered some remarks.
Father Mark Wiesner of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church next provided his thoughts on the coming harvest. Rabbi Larry Milder of Congregation Beth Emek followed Father Mark with his own perspective. Following these topical and entertaining remarks, the Steves offered a toast in honor of the upcoming harvest, concluding the ceremony.
There was time for a bit more mingling, and a bit more of that wonderful 3 Steves Chardonnay. Harvest time is upon us and the Harvest Festival is just around the corner!
About the Author: John grills a mean steak and is always in the market for another wine fridge. Believes that if a winery has more than 10 employees, it's probably too big. Buys wine faster than he drinks it, but who cares?