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Monday, September 1, 2008

Sour Grapes, Anyone?

When told that we were going grape-picking, I imagined the scenes from the movies, of vast fields with grand vistas, where giggling girls fill their baskets with grapes ready for crushing. And I admit, that lovely scene in “A Walk in the Clouds” of grapes de-juiced using the feet, did play slow-mo in my mind and the last frame I saw placed me right there in the middle of the raucous fun.


But all that vanished when we reached the region where grapes are grown. Apparently, grape culture is yet a backyard industry in Japan despite a long history of production. While the produce is relatively huge, the average individual farm areas are still small.


The vineyard we visited still used the traditional Japanese method where the vines are trellised overhead (about 2 to 3 meters from the ground) to avoid excess humidity from soil and get good spray precipitation. This allows the farmers to grow the vines anywhere – even in the dining area or the parking spaces!


After having our fill of grapes (all-you-can-eat for Yen 2,000), we proceeded to the winery where there was free wine tasting. Yes, you heard it right, FREE! Samples of the wines produced by Mercian winery (the second biggest winery in Japan) were lined up and the tourists may drink all that their bellies can take.



When we arrived, there was already a long queue on the starting block. Hoping to outwit the others, I joined a group of “makulits” who decided to start at the end of the demo stalls where there were still less people. With a toast, we drank. Just one big gulp and then .. everyone finished with contorted faces. “They call this wine?!”, we chorused.



One of our companions came to us and checked the bottle. Then she announced, “This is vinegar.”

38 comments:

Pedestrian Observer Gb said...

No wonder the line is short, lol..... seriously, the Japanese are fantastic when it comes to farming where land is scarce. The Philippines can learn a lot from them especially now that the population is exploding we may end up with less land to till.

koykiks said...

a walk in the backyard? hehe.. nice vinegar experience..

BlogusVox said...

"hen she announced, “This is vinegar.”

That made me laugh. Yan kasi, banat nang banat hindi muna tinitingnan ang ini-inom. Akala nyo ha, lahat ng nangaling sa ubas vino.

R-yo said...

Ped Observer: Ang galing nga e. ginawang nilang bubong ang grapes! :-)

R-yo said...

Kiks: Mas jaywalking in the backyard yata yun. :-)

R-yo said...

Blogusvox: Tama ba naman kasing isama sa pila ng wines ang vinegar? hindi nman lahat ng tao e marunong magbasa ng hapon! :-)

KRIS JASPER VAN DYKE said...

were the grapes sweet?

and u drank vinegar by mistake. lol.

The Gasoline Dude said...

Nyahaha! Natawa ako! Buti na lang walang nag-marunong at nagpaka- wine connoisseur kuno kundi napahiya siya. *LOLz*

aajao said...

attorney! uhmm.. i don't know if i missed it somewhere pero ano nga pala ang ginagawa mo overseas? seems like you're having a loooooooooong vacation. puro nakakainggit yung mga pinupuntahan mo. parang puro leisure :)

PS. bumili ka ba ng wine? :P

R-yo said...

Kris: The grapes were sweet. Yung vinegar lang talaga ang hindi. Japanese kasi ang nakasulat sa bote kaya di naman alam. he he.

R-yo said...

Gasdude: Oo nga e. Sana me nagsabing "ganyan talaga yan. hindi kasi kayo sosyal kaya di sanay ang taste buds nyo." he he

R-yo said...

aajao: naman to. nagtatrabaho nman po ako dito. panggabi kasi (wink wink) kaya nakakapasyal ako sa araw, he he. seriously, i try to go out every weekend para masulit naman ang stay ko dito.

coldman said...

Hahaha!

uy, paborito ko ang ubas! pasalubong naman!

carlotta1924 said...

ayan kasi! hehehe. :D

ok yun ah, may nakabalot pa sa grape bunches.

so kamusta yung totoong wine? :D

Abaniko said...

If I were with you in this event, I'd skip the grape picking and proceed right away to the wine drinking. Um, did you say drink-all-you-can wine? Heaven.

Keitaro Hanazawa said...

Kuya, hindi na kita ma-reach. Pa-wine tasting wine tasting lang ha? LOL!

I never knew na may grape vineyard din pala sa Japan. Kala ko sa France, Italy, at US lang.:)

Everlito (ever) Villacruz said...

sana yung mga tanim kong ampalaya,maging ubas din,halos pareho kasi sila ng dahon.he he he

Abou said...

dapat kasi hindi muna nilalagok kagad yang wine, he he, inaamoy amoy muna sa baso tapos dahan dahan ninamnam.

sabi nila he he.

Panaderos said...

I love going on wine tastings. I went to one a few months ago in Napa Valley in California. The place is about an hour's drive north of San Francisco. It was fun and it was free. Needless to say that I had a very good sleep later that evening.

Beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing and thanks too for your visit to my site. It's very much appreciated. :)

R-yo said...

coldman: dami ubas dyan. baka di pa maasim. har har

R-yo said...

carlotta: andaya nga e. yung nilagay sa free tasting, yung mga bago, mga 3 to 4 years old lang. kaya di pa masarap. binebenta na ang mas matatanda, he he.

R-yo said...

abaniko: yup. heaven talaga. kahit di masyadong masarap, hataw pa rin sa tagayan. libre e. hehehe

R-yo said...

ever: pati na rin yung tanim mong sigarilyas at patola! :-)

R-yo said...

abou: di halata sa amoy e. :-)

R-yo said...

Panaderos: Wow! Free drinks just an hour away? Aaraw-arawin ko yun! he he. Thanks for the visit!

Gina said...

NYAHAHAHAHAHAH!

this is so funny Reo!

dazedblu* said...

visiting again, more grapes btw XD hehe.

CARLO said...

Saya ng buhay mo...

Pwede maging assistant? hehe

What's next, cheese tasting party?

Sosyal!

Regards. :)

totomai said...

a very appropriate title to this experience of yours, atty. LOL! sasampa ka ng kaso? haha

Lawstude said...

looks can really be deceiving. mukha naman matamis panyero ah.

teka, pagbalik mo magtayo tayo ng law firm specializing in photography lols.

the donG said...

sarap naman tumambay dyan.

natatawa ako sa comment ni lawstude. law firm specializing in photography. ayos yan! hehehe...

R-yo said...

dazed & gina: thanks!

carlo: natitiyempo lang po sa kasiyahan. most of the time actually, malungkot ang buhay. :-)

R-yo said...

totomai: demanda kamo? hmm. makuha ngang abogado si lawstude hehe.

R-yo said...

lawstude: he he. sige nyero, gawin mo na documentation. kikita ba tayo dun? si Dong Ho ang magiging financier natin!

Carver said...

I like the shots of the grape vines, very beautiful. Also good shots of the rest of the tour. My grandmother had a grape arbor in her backyard just for her and the family, and a few friends.

tutubi said...

sour grape nga...vinegar na e :P

acey said...

the japs are just so smart :D

David B Katague said...

Interesting and very informative article! what a difference in how grapes are grown here in California! Cheers!