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Wit and Wisdom of Gateway Church Athens GA

As we begin our new church life … so too a new blog!

I have been very busy this week, “back on the road again” so to speak.  I had a an interesting experience that I wanted to share though.  I think it is rather pertinent to our discussion on the “Secrets of the Vine”.

As I was headed towards Greensboro on I 40 and I saw a sign that said “RayLen vineyards and winery – tours this way.”  So … I went “this way”.

What a great experience.  It was exciting to shut off the phone and do something I wanted to do.  Especially since it was associated with our Sunday school class.  I stopped on the road as I went in and took this picture.  This was a row that hadn’t been pruned in a while as far as I could tell.  It was in need of pruning.  I was excited wondering if I would be able to see one in the mud on the ground but no such luck.

The Vineyard 007

I went up to the main office area and low and behold there was a wine tasting going on.  I walked in and met 4 of the friendliest people you could imagine.  They were delightful.  I told them I was there to learn about vineyards and that our class was studying John 15.  At that point I learned the make up of our little group.  There was a Baptist pastor and his wife, a Catholic lady that moved in from California and the man serving the wine informed us all that he was a reformed Presbyterian!  So add a Methodist and you have the makings of a fun wine tasting experience.

The Vineyard 005

I must admit I did taste the wine and I will also admit it was very good!  But the interesting part was the answers to the questions I asked.  I asked about vines growing along the ground.  I was told that wouldn’t happen there because they simply wouldn’t allow that to happen.  However he did tell me something interesting.  He told me that from the time things start happening in April until the harvest time in August/September they have problems all the time.  Insects, mites, fungus, rain and on and on it goes.  I think there is a good lesson here and I would love to talk about it in class on Sunday.

The Vineyard 011

Here you see the results of pruning.  I was quite interested in this because of the contrast with the first picture of the un-pruned first rows I saw coming in the vineyard.

The Vineyard 013

Here is a close up of the pruned branches.  (I wondered if it hurt when it saw the foliage on the ground?)

The Vineyard 009

Here is a section of grapes (can you see them there?) that hasn’t been pruned.

The Vineyard 008

Here is a section that is growing fruit and still to be pruned.

The Vineyard 013

Here is the closely pruned branch with grapes clearly showing.

Before I left I mentioned I was from Athens and they told me that Chateau Elan would be a great resource for us to talk to.  I spoke to Tom and I think it would be a great idea for us as a class to plan a Saturday trip to Chateau Elan and find out about growing grapes from the people that do it for a living!

What think ye?????

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