Last Saturday morning I heard from our family friends, Lorna and Carroll Knedler, who own the Shasta Daisy Vineyard. "We're in the middle of harvest, but come on up!" they said. All of these years living with grapes all around me and I've never seen a harvest. Okay then -- road trip. My mom and my daughters and I jumped into the car for the hour drive northeast, to where the Sierra Nevada Mountains meet the Cascade Range.
The Shasta Daisy Vineyard lies just beyond the little town of Manton on the lower slopes of Mt. Lassen. (It's actually stretching the truth to call Manton a little town, since it claims only about 400 people on its town sign. It's a mini burghlet.)
Take Forward Road out of town for eight miles or so, watching for the Shasta Daisy Vineyard signs every mile telling you "only a little farther!" If you come to the end of Forward Mill Road you've gone too far, but by only a little.
The equipment barn is right in the middle of the vineyard and just begs to be photographed.
The view from our hosts' house is stunning -- that's a creek down there, which we could easily hear.
Mid-October and the leaves are starting to turn.
All of this land has been in Lorna's family for generations. I remember the red house from my childhood, coming up the hill to visit my aunt and uncle at their cabin home.
We strolled the vineyards a little bit, staying out of the way of the harvest.
Here's that barn again.
These look an awful lot like the flowers on the Shasta Daisy wine label.
Speaking of wine, here's the baby wine, ready for picking! The pinot noir grapes are SO sweet and I didn't even mind the seeds. Don't worry, I ate only a couple.
Looking east toward the old mill ponds; these grapes had already been picked.
And here's the mill pond. Brave people swim in it, but it's definitely too cold for THIS wussy.
We loved our day trip to the Shasta Daisy Vineyard (find them on Facebook here), and we promised Lorna and Carroll we'd come help pick next year. We didn't do any wine-tasting, be we did buy some wine and it was sooooooooo good. I recommend an afternoon drive up the hill. Wait-- I'll come with you.