By Lenn Thompson, Long Island Editor and Editor-in-Chief

Just a quick note to check in from the beginnings of the 2009 Finger Lakes grape harvest.

After a couple hours spent at Fox Run Vineyards yesterday afternoon, with Morgan and Evan, bottling some sparkling wine and a delicious industry/winemaker dinner at Red Newt Bistro, I spent the day at Anthony Road Wine Company harvesting a small block of pinot gris just down the hill from the tasting room.

I don't know the total tonnage (will find out tomorrow morning when we sort) but the 6-man crew picked all morning and for a bit after lunch (back at Fox Run by the way — great sandwiches). The whole clusters are hanging out in the cold room overnight before we get at them tomorrow.

Every wine lover should be lucky enough to harvest grapes at least once in their lives. It really adds to the appreciation one feels for the work and the people behind the wines we love. They are so much more than just a beverage.

I'll let our new science editor, Tom Mansell, chime in on the picture above. He told me to be on the lookout for clusters like this (and for pinot blanc, which we saw a few clusters of as well).