Growing Together: Moldova’s Family-Run Et Cetera Winery

 

For years, we had our sights set on participating in a grape harvest. As the golden months of the summer of 2014 dwindled, and Europe’s grapes grew plumper and riper, we decided to meander to Moldova to meet the newest vintage. It’s said that a whopping 25% of Moldova’s working population is involved in winemaking, and we instantly sensed this upon our arrival in the Eastern European country. Much of the autumnal landscape was dotted with vineyards, grape motifs favored heavily on the village architecture, and winemakers of the amateur and professional sort abounded. One of our first nights in the country, locals spotted us strolling the streets of a quiet village, and asked us if we wanted to try a glass of wine at their home. (Of course we said yes!) This warm extension of hospitality would continue for nearly one month, even as we hopped from locale to locale. Sometimes we were offered golden bunches of grapes, while at other moments we were given a generous glass of homemade wine.

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Appreciating the Flora of Fall

red and yellow fall leaves high desert reno nevada

Even in the buff-colored, high desert of Nevada, neighborhood trees and shrubberies are sporting their autumn finery.

pampas grass and yellow leaves in high desert

During most mornings these past weeks, we’ve pounded the pavement for three-mile walks up into the surrounding hills. Aiming to achieve a cardio workout, I’ve typically refrained from bringing my trusty camera along (an accessory for which I’m often teased; some joke it’s an extension of my body). With the oak and maple leaves, trailing ivy and rabbitbrush reaching their peak fall hues in the past days, however, I could not resist the temptation to indulge my shutterbug passion any longer.

Enter what my husband playfully calls ‘irregular walking,’ (walk, stop, snap, repeat) and these images through which to remember a glorious autumn…

autumn leaves collage reno nevada

pampas grass, desert rose in high desertrabbit brush in reno nevada hills

leaves autumn reno blue sky nevada

yellow leaves reno nevada high desert

red leaves in reno nevada autumn

autumn colors in reno nevadaautumn leaves in the high desertyellow leaves and rabbit brush in high desert

Some of my favorite ways to usher in autumn’s arrival are home-cooked pumpkin soup, warm woolen scarves I’ve picked up on my travels, and picking out the perfect pumpkin to carve and enjoy. What are yours?

Greeting Autumn at the Heidelberger Herbstfest

What a splendid day for an autumn fest on Heidelberg’s Hauptstrasse!

With our bellies full with Neuer Wein (new wine), Zwiebelkuchen (onion pie), Bier, Bratwurst, and Thai fare, we’re now at home resting, watching all the Herbstfest revelry from our fifth-floor apartment.

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