It was the evening of Friday, May 4th. We were hosting one of the University of Vermont's public philosophy forums discussion. The topic for the evening was a fitting one: Plato's Symposium, a discourse on objective value and what makes something like wine good.
Lead by Michael Ashooh, the discussion was picking up. Folks were weighing in about whether knowledge enhances one's ability to determine value. As the conversation really started to roll, so did the weather. Creeping in from the West was a looming wall of clouds making its way across Lake Champlain.
The rain came down hard and suddenly. In great waves the wind brought heavy rain and quarter inch hail sideways against the glass doors that flank the tasting room. It went from feeling like we were in a lecture hall to being in a ship tossed on a sea during a storm. Rain began to shoot in through the seams of the doors. The power flickered and then went out.
Warmer weather comes with a classic New England phenomenon: Thunderstorms that come from nowhere. We anticipate at least a few a year that turn the sky green and bring on that feeling of a drop in pressure, the smell of imminent rain.
This one was a doozy, though. And had it come a couple of weeks later than it did, we could have experienced some severe damage in the buds on the vines. When those tender shoots first start to emerge they are temporarily prone to the likes of hail and 50 mph wind gusts.
Many folks in town experienced some serious damage from the winds. The soft, damp earth couldn't hold up some of the larger trees around town. The Shelburne Museum experienced some serious property damage. We feel very lucky that we came off with barely a scratch.
We're looking forward to coming weeks of good weather and a strong start to the growing season! We'll be back soon with updates as the vines begin to grow their shoots!