This is for the Wine Tourism Spain contest about aliens coming down to earth and sampling wine! winetourismspain.com
News channels across the globe blasted the information about the aliens’ arrival for three days’ straight. Havo was a businessman, not because he’d styled himself that way, but because he recognised opportunities when he saw them. So when the mothership arrived, quite smaller than he’d imagined a mothership to be, at the northern corner of his idyllic vineyard, Havo was much calmer than other citizens of the world. Instead of scream, or wait for their road trip to pass by, Havo sat on the porch of his delicately-kept finca and waited for them to come to him.
Having seen the grey silhouettes on every channel, the sight of the spindly, humanoid creatures lit against the burnt sunrise and wisping dust from their settling ship, made Havo smile.
The aliens bowed to him as they approached the porch, their shining heads smooth, and spoke in a voice which sounded as one but spoke as many. “We wish to observe and learn your customs.”
Havo nodded, soundlessly, and stood, leading them to the vineyards. “It’s a custom,” he said, “to pick grapes from the vine.” A few of the visitors began plucking grapes from their tethers, blinking at them. A few were sampled. Havo led the others into his barn, gesturing to steel machinery and a large container already full of grapes.
“It’s a custom,” Havo explained, “to stomp on grapes.” They stomped on grapes, all seven of their grey fleshy toes gripping the purple mulch beneath them, enjoying the odd sensation. Havo stood by, taking pictures on his Best Camera, smiling to himself.
“It’s a custom,” said Havo when they were done, “to ferment the grapes.” The aliens observed Havo as he described the fermentation process, watching as he tipped the juice into barrels and stored it neatly.
But Havo’s pride and joy came last. With buckets brought of freshly picked grapes and aliens with bruised-pink feet, the company observed Havo as he opened his best wine.
“¡Salud!” Havo passed the leader – tall and curious – a glass full of his efforts.
When the alien pressed its thin lips to the glass, sipping the blood-red wine, Havo waited. The alien’s eyes swirled, as Havo had come to recognise to be a positive response during their short time together, and tipped the glass enthusiastically to his companions. They drank in unison, the chatter of their gathering practically purring in delight.
“¡Salud!” They cried, as one and as each other, a toast to Havo. Joy spread through the old winemaker, and the pictures he’d taken spread this joy across the globe. In all his years on the vineyard, and every harvest spent, the company of these visitors warmed him the most.
Aliens had tasted not just the work of his life, but the nectar of his homeland, and each summer after, even when Havo passed, they came to visit. For they realised Earth was as much about the humans on it as it was about its place in space, and Havo’s wine lived on.