Herald-Republican, September 16, 2006
Satek has a 'grape'
The sun glinting off the fog- and dew-misted grapes at Satek Winery'
near Fremont Friday belied the week-long rainy weather preceding it.
But all was dry Friday, and the pickers
descended on the 15 or so rows of Marecha:l Foch grapes in the hope of
denuding the vines of fruit by noon. By the end of the season, 12 tons
of grapes once loading the vines will head up the lane for the winery,
with an additional 1,500 square feet now dedicated to production.
With the original building designed to
produce 10,000 gallons of wine and eventually managing 13,000, the
expansion proved a must at the 5-year old winery. The expansion will
boost production to 25,000-30,000 gallons annually, said Larry Satek,
who owns the winery along with his wife, Pam . ...
The humid growing season pestered this
year's crop, subjecting it to more than the usual stress. "This was a
bad year for humid, wet weather through July. There was tremendous
disease pressure this year. We've survived it, but a wet fall would not
be good," he said.
He's pragmatic about each year's harvest. "Because agriculture is such
an iffy thing, I try not to think of it as wine. It doesn't exist until
it's in the building," he said.
With the winery employees and Amish pickers brought in for the job
expected to clean the vines of a ton of fruit on Friday, he should have
the much desired raw material necessary to keep him busy, at least for a
while. The seven or eight pickings will yield 12 tons of grapes this