I thought the reason for the bags was obvious, but the eyes of just about everyone who steps out on my terrace turn upwards and then a quizzical look comes on their face. “Why are those bags up there,” they
ask. The bags enclose bunches of grapes hanging from the vines, and their purpose is to fend off birds, bees and other insects, and disease.
The payoff for tediously fitting slit paper bags around individual bunches, then stapling the folded over opening down around the stem, has come. Usually, not always; sometimes I open a bag and find nothing inside. But while many unbagged bunches are marred with bird pecking and black rot, the bagged bunches, at their best, reveal perfect bunches of plump, juicy grapes. We bag about 100 bunches each spring.
The longer grapes hang on the vines, …