On Teachers' Day (September 10, 2012) I went with one of my Chinese counterpart teachers Fan Bo (one of my best Chinese friends here) and his family and some fellow teachers to pick grapes. It turns out China grows a lot of grapes, but the grape wine industry is just in its infancy, to my consternation. A grassy sauvignon blanc and some la ji rou? Yes, please.
We drove about an hour outside of Zunyi to a large grape farm. The grapes are grown under greenhouse-like tarps and the ripe grapes are protected from insects and the elements by paper bag covers.
"Picking" involved sampling the different types of grapes grown at the farm, eating lunch at the farmer's home, walking among the grape vines, and then playing mahjong for a few hours while grapes were loaded in boxes for us to take home. So, no rustic experience, but, rather, it was something more akin to a wine tasting tour. I'm not complaining.
The many children along for the day could not resist the piles of drying chiles and peanuts on the farmer's front "yard." Piles are to play with, right? The farmer's wife had something to say about it.
After the outing we had dinner in Zunyi and played mahjong until late. Beijiu? Perhaps.
Here are some photos of the excursion: