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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Wild Grape Wine

wild grapes eluding harvest, Macdonald Farm/Sandbanks PP
The delightful and energetic Jean Baird hit it:
"Al was making wine in Prince Edward County long before the vineyard and winery days."

Quite rightly.

And a delightful link forms between the irascible impecunious poet on Roblin Lake in the 1950's and 60's, and the new generation of  upmarket wineries enticing visitors into this the loveliest of counties.

 Al's wine clearly made an impression (if not a durable stain) on many who partook. Stories abound of nights of poetry and history made profound by copious amounts of beer and Al's homemade wine.

"I am picking wild grapes last year
in a field
         dragging down great lianas of vine
tearing at 20 feet of heavy infinite purple..."

                                               The Winemaker's Beat-Etude in Wild Grape Wine (1968)

I spotted these high-flying wild grapes along a farm lane near my campsite at Sandbanks Provincial Park. The farm was sold decades ago for part of the campgrounds, but some of the fields are still cultivated. And some of the old fence-lines are still small-mammal wildernesses. It was along such fence-lines that Eurithe and Al collected the grapes for the legendary wine.

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