Steven Mirassou, president of the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association's Board of Directors, opened the centuries-old blessings ceremony by noting the good weather, saying, "Hopefully this presages a beautiful and carefree harvest this year."
The clergy were Father Kwame Assenyoh of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church; Steve Wilde, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Livermore; and Rabbi Larry Milder from Congregation Beth Emek in Pleasanton.
Pastor Wilde quoted Ben Franklin, who noted that wine is "constant proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy."
He also expressed gratitude for the essential workers who continue to produce the grapes and the wine.
Father Kwame drew chuckles when he remarked, "People say, 'Catholic priests know the best wine' because we drink wine every time we celebrate the Mass and we worship."
"We ask God's blessings upon this harvest season," he added.
"Thankfully, wine invites friends to get to know one another better and invites strangers to become friends," Rabbi Milder said.
He concluded with a traditional blessing: "We praise you, God, sovereign of the universe, creator of the fruit of the vine — amen and l'chaim."
Wineries in the Livermore Valley are now open and following Alameda County mask guidelines. Learn more about the wineries and events at www.lvwine.org.
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