Fall is my favorite time of the year, and the time when nature's jewelry covers the grapevines and the trees. I love the changing colors of the leaves, the cooler weather, the crisp smell in the air mixed with chimney smoke from neighboring homes. Here in Southern California, we don't get the extremes in weather, so for us, the changing of the seasons is more subtle. There's a huge variety of plant and tree-life and only some have leaves that change colors in the fall. In our backyard, we're fortunate enough to have a giant oak tree that's approximately 100 to 150 years old! It starts to feel like fall when its brown leaves start drifting down and coating our yard. I just love this time of year, and there's one more reason why ...
You can't have wine without grapes, and fall is harvest time!
Fun Facts About Grape Harvesting
Harvest season begins when the grapes start changing color. Oftentimes, there will be several shades of colors developing on one grape cluster. As the grapes ripen, they get softer, larger, sweeter, and less acidic. This process is called veraison. It usually starts in the summer, and the actual harvesting takes place from August to November.
My Pinot Grape Chandelier Crystal Necklace shows an example of what grapes look like as they go through veraison. I made this necklace from a reproduction of an original drawing, attached it to an upcycled chandelier crystal, then added beaded chain and sparkly crystals.
Late harvest wines are made from grapes that are left on the vine up to a couple of months after harvest. This causes the sugars to concentrate and increases the alcohol content to levels higher than the typical wine you'd have with dinner. These wines are sweeter, richer, and can be lighter or fuller-bodied, depending on the type of grape. When you think of a dessert wine, it's generally a late harvest wine or a port.
Harvest Collection - Nature's Jewelry
The fall season was the inspiration for my Harvest Collection. I designed this collection of jewelry with vineyards in mind. Here you'll find handmade grape cluster pendants in several colorful varietals, featuring glistening glass beads and hand-curled tendrils. You'll also find grape leaves and twigs from the grapevine. I make the grape leaves from hand-molded polymer clay, which I then fire, paint, and finish with a touch of shimmer.
Stop by and take a look at the Harvest Collection. Hopefully you'll find a piece that helps bring the fall season to life for you!