The prayer from the Book of Needs (Trebnik / Small Euchologion) is posted below for those interested:
Bless, O Lord, this new fruit of the vine, which, through the wholesomeness of the air, and through showers of rain and temperate weather, Thou art well-pleased should attain to ripeness at this time. May our partaking of this birth of the vine be for gladness, and for the offering of a gift unto Thee for the cleansing of sins, through the sacred and holy Body of Thy Christ, with Whom Thou art blessed, together with Thy Most-holy, Good, and Life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
(Santa Maria Times) - For winemaker Louis Lucas, the continuing severe drought means fewer grapes, a whole lot fewer. So he'll take any help that he can get, even from the divine.
Lucas, who is a co-founder of Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards Winery, which has estate vineyards in the Los Alamos, Santa Maria and Santa Ynez valleys, said they were looking at harvesting about 40-percent less grapes than last year. Monday was the annual blessing of the grapes at their winery in Buellton.
"This year everything really needs to be blessed," Lucas said. "The crop is much smaller this year."
Louis also said that this year's harvest is about three weeks earlier than normal due to the warm, dry winter and and also an overcast flowering season. It will take about six to eight weeks to finish harvesting the 26 varieties of wine grapes.
While Father John Finley led harvest time with a prayer and a blessing of the grapes Monday at the Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards Winery, Lucas said he likely isn't the only one saying a prayer for this year's wine grape harvest.
"Overall, statewide, I think they'll be seeing a reduction," Lucas said. "It really depends on the field."