When you are sipping that much deserved glass of wine, do you ever think of what makes it taste just so crisp or smooth? Is it how long it was aged? Is it the type of wine? Is it how hard and long you worked that day that makes wine taste that much better? Perhaps it was the moon that contributed to that great taste.
Many master gardeners and wine makers swear by planting and harvesting according to the positioning of the moon. The theory is that increasing moonlight is best for annuals that bear their fruit above ground, and that decreasing moonlight is best of those that are root crops. The full moon and the new moon are considered “barren” signs when no planting should be done at all, and planting should not be done on Sundays or on the first or last quarter days for similar reasons.
The moon moves through simultaneous cycles each month, each taking approximately 28 days. The first and most obvious lunar cycle is the waxing and waning moon. The lunar phase controls the amount of moisture in the soil. This moisture is at its peak at the time of the new and full moon. The sun and moon are lined up with Earth. Just as the moon pulls the tides in the oceans, it also pulls upon the subtle bodies of water, causing moisture to rise in the Earth, which encourages sprouting and growth. Many tests have proven that seeds will absorb the most water at the time of the full moon.
In the fourth quarter there is decreased gravitational pull and moonlight, and it is considered to be a “resting” period. This is also the best time to cultivate, harvest, transplant, as well as prune, For those of you out there who are meticulous about your yard, it is best to mow the lawn in the third or fourth quarters, it is best to plant seeds shortly before the full moon, in the second quarter of the lunar cycle, and is best to prune in the “rest period” of the fourth quarter.
Getting back to wine, the best time to harvest the grapes to be made into wine is as close to the full moon as possible, it is at this time that the grapes will retain the most juice and bouquet, further making for the most delectable glass of wine. Little did we know just how much the moons shine could affect that next glass of wine. Although lunar planting, harvesting and vine maintenance with lunar calendars proves extremely beneficial. For more information on planting by the moon check out the calendar published by Brian Keats at http://www.northernstarcalendar.com or the Farmer’s Almanac at http://www.almanac.com/content/farming-moon. Happy Planting!