Wine Tasting and Archery

Come down and join us for an unforgettable evening at our medieval themed wine tasting event. We have transformed our vineyard into a whimsical Renaissance retreat. Take a walk through the winery and you will be transported back in time to the Renaissance era. Dress to impress in your best medieval costume and enter our costume contest for a chance to win prizes. You will be able to participate in an exclusive wine tasting and enjoy some of our best wines. Tickets can be bought in advance or at the door.

Are you feeling adventurous? You and your friends can sign up and go on a treasure hunt style “quest” around the winery. You will have fun solving riddles and will be entered in a drawing to win the grand prize! There will also be a jousting tournament to watch in the pasture, hysterical jester acts and live music. You will be able to try some of the most popular medieval foods and watch various acts in the ‘town square’.

A local archery professional will have a booth set up on the edge of the vineyard, where you can try your hand at archery. You may want to know, ‘Where did archery originate?’ or have other archery related questions. This professional archer can answer all of the archery questions that you may have. They also have some compound bows for you to test out. You can also enjoy watching the archery competition or if you want to participate you can sign up for a chance to win the grand prize! Other door prizes will be awarded for third and second place.

This medieval wine tasting will be one of a kind and you and your friends will have a lot of fun. So, come out and enjoy a night of great wine and fun filled medieval festivities. We look forward to seeing you there!…

Vineyards: Then and Now. Technology or not?

A vineyard is a plantation of grapevines, grown mainly for winemaking, raisins, fresh table grapes and grape juice that do not contain any alcohol.  Vineyards usually requires specific geographical and geological characteristics

The earliest evidence of wine production dates back from 6000-5000BC.  Wine making and technology improved considerably from then.  Through the ages, the ancient Greeks and then the Romans developed cultivating techniques that were common throughout Europe.

In the middle ages, the monasteries maintained and developed viticulture practices, because they had the resources, security, stability and interest to do so.  The wine was necessary for the celebration of Mass.

The quest for vineyard efficiency has produced a wide and bewildering range of systems and techniques over the years.  Also more bewildering because, some believe that, the more natural and the less technology is the best for wine making, and the other half believes that technology can only better wine making and increase productivity.

Vineyards that do not use Modern technologies:

  1. Natural Fermentation; Most of the fermentation starts spontaneously with yeasts that occur on the fruit and in the cellar. Fermentation will play out over several months.  They rely on just the natural chemistry of the fruit.  Nothing added, nothing is taken away.
  2. No Refrigeration; No refrigeration are used during the winemaking process. Through winter times the winery might be heated by wood fires.
  3. No Pesticides; only organic management practices that include plant based teas and rock minerals are used to increase plant health. Healthy plants can resist pests.

Modern Technology used in Vineyards:

  1. Mechanical harvesting; this machine will harvest as much as 40 workers at the same time.
  2. Fruit Sorter; Cameras and image processing software will separate and discard low-quality products.
  3. Sensors; can be used in various stages throughout the wine making processes. It collects data and can determine when something is not right.  It can also regulate the times when processes start or finish.

The implementation of more mechanical harvesting and wine making is often brought on by changes in labour laws, labour shortages and also costs.  It can be very expensive to hire labourers for only short periods of time.  Technology can save on production costs and also shorten the time that you harvest.

However, all vineyards are not readily adaptable to technology because of incompatible widths between rows of grape vines and the terrain they grow on.  Including the resistance of traditional views that reject high technologies, the question is still wide open, “Technology or not?”…

The History of Wine; a Timeline from Ancient Times

Wine is an alcoholic drink which is made through the fermentation of grapes.  You can also make wine from other fruits or even vegetables.  But when speaking of wine, we usually mean the product made of grapes.

  1. 4100 B.C. The earliest evidence of a wine production facility was found in Armenia and is at least 6100 years old.  It is presumed that the production of wine started much earlier.
  2. 3100 B.C. The Egyptians began making a wine-like substance from red grapes.  They also used it in ceremonies, because of its resemblance to blood.  The Egyptians came in contact with Jews and the Phoenicians.
  3. 1700 B.C. Recently an almost 3,700-year-old wine cellar was discovered in northern-Israel.  Archaeologists and the scientists, who studied the findings, said that more than 500 gallons of wine were stored in this cellar
  4. 1200 B.C – 539 B.C. The Phoenicians began to trade across the Mediterranean, including the Middle-East (Israel) and around the sea from North Africa to Greece and Italy.  They also brought wine along in ceramic jugs, as well as grapevines.
  5. 800 B.C. The Greeks began to perfect the beverage.  Wine became a symbol of religion and health and also a symbol for trade.  While colonizing the land around the Mediterranean with their armies, they travelled with wine.  After conquering a new area, the Greeks would settle that area, planting grapevines they brought with them.  Sicily and Southern Italy were some of these areas, and then the wine also travelled to Rome.
  6. 146 B.C. Rome conquers Greece and builds an Empire.  Wine became a central part of their culture.  Their cultivation methods became famous.  As the Empire expands they plant grapevines in what is today modern France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and a number of Central European nations.
  7. 380 The Roman Empire adopts the Catholic Church and Christianity.  Wine becomes an important part of the Sacrament.  The Catholic Church starts to focus on wine cultivation and production.  Monks perfected winemaking technology.  As the Catholic Church grows, the wine went with it.

Then wine travelled all over the world as we know it.  The estimated wine production by country, put Italy first, France second, Spain third, the United States fourth, Argentina fifth, Australia sixth, South-Africa seventh, China eighth, Chile ninth and Germany tenth.

Each year more countries are discovered that produce wine.  Even in places like the Gobi Desert, you will find vineyards.  Antarctica might be the next.

The Benefits of Gardening as a Health and Therapeutic Activity

Gardening has many therapeutic benefits.  There even exists a Formal practice, using plants, horticultural activities and the garden environment to promote the well-being of a person.  This career is called, “Horticultural Therapy” (HT).  The results of HT affirm that people do need a good relationship with nature to also lead healthy lives.  We all have an innate connection with nature.

5 Basic Facts about Horticultural Therapy and the benefits you can derive from it.

  1. Horticultural Therapy is offered in hospitals, rehabilitation centres, community agencies and long term illness care facilities.
  2. HT. uses gardening as a therapeutic tool. It promotes physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
  3. Horticultural activities help aid the healing process. Used in conjunction with physiotherapy, counselling and, if needed, medication, HT can help with recovering from illness and injury.
  4. HT is a Client-Centred Therapy that tends to help achieve personal growth and encourage people to help themselves.
  5. Horticultural Therapy is provided by registered Therapists and Therapy Technicians (HTT). The therapist facilitates HT sessions to help a person reach their goals.

What is the Benefits of Horticultural Therapy, and who can benefit from it?

People of all ages and abilities can benefit from Horticultural Therapy.  Whole families can participate together and include their caregivers.  HT can help with:

People who feel:  Depressed, Anxious, Socially isolated, Overwhelmed with responsibilities and Hopeless.

People who live with:  Physical disabilities, Sensory limitations, and Emotional Imbalances.

HT Can aid with:  Addictions, Loss, Life Changes, Physical Injury, and Abuse.

Participating in Horticultural Therapy will make you feel Empowered, Inspired, Competent, Grounded, and Reconnected.  Your sense of belonging and accomplishment will return as well as your Self-Confidence.

Gardening, in itself, is a stimulating, healthy physical activity that can be enjoyed by old and young.  Gardening increases your levels of physical activity and will maintain flexibility and mobility in later years.

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