Tuesday, September 8, 2009

You know it's harvest when....

...you're out in a vineyard tasting your Petite Sirah at dusk, want to take some pictures, grab your camera, and realize it's sticky from pulling leaves and taking pictures of this mornings pick of Chardonnay at sunrise.

So here is basically how the day went. To really start, I have to begin with drinking some Pinot Noir in front of the TV late last night, because someone asked me to evaluate it for a future project. That led to falling asleep in place, only to have the wife reach over several times with a sort of loving touch/smack and the kind words of "Go To Bed". Begrudgingly, I crawled myself upstairs, barely got the teeth brushed, and remembered the ever important set the alarm for tomorrow's pick. The next thing I remember is thinking that can't be the alarm, hitting snooze, and lying there half asleep and half awake waiting for the next reminder that I won't be able to fall back asleep anyway. A few more snooze's and off we go.

Jump in the truck and haul a.. out to the vineyard thinking that I'm going to be late. Head down the road toward Caffino (the wrong direction from the vineyard) and realize there is actually a Starbucks on the way. Step on the gas to get to the Starbucks, order my double mocha, wonder what other souls must be out at this ungodly hour, and wait and wait and wait for them to fill the order of one medium (they call it Venti) Mocha. Really how long can it take. Haul a.. out to the vineyard to see the Vineyard Manager waiting for the bins and breathe a sigh of relief that I wasn't late. We pick, pull leaves from the bins, and take some photos. This is where the camera gets sticky, but too busy to notice. Once my truck has a full load I head off to the winery. I make several phone calls to the winery to see how the other vineyards are picking, and make the call as to the order of which things might get pressed. Make the call to hold one press for my grapes and start loading the other with the other grapes coming in all while using my speakerphone on my phone and wondering if holding the phone in hand but not up to my ear really means "Hands Free".

I get to the winery to find out that there are more grapes from the first pick then previously thought, and we'll have to add an extra press load to the already max scheduled day. We begin loading the press, squeezing berries, and collecting juice as fast as we can. Anyone who knows winery work, knows that this means hurry up and wait. Loading the grapes takes about half an hour or so, while running the actual press to get the juice takes roughly two hours. So our pace at the winery is hurry, hurry get the press loaded, get everything else done while it's running, clean the press, and start over.

Usually at the winery in the meantime, this means several conversations with other winemakers about custom crush, making sure sales are on track at the winery, consulting with the tasting room, oh yeah the two tour groups that came through the winery, taste all the fermenting wines, check sugars, get the lab analysis, do the additions that need to be done, and finally clean up all equipment the winery that was abused over the day.

By the end of the day, we've cleaned everything up, talked about tomorrow's chaos, and said goodbye for the night. This is the point I head off to check the two Petite Sirah Vineyards, taste the grapes and take some beautiful sunset pictures in the vineyard. I pull the camera from the car, and realize that the thing is super sticky from this mornings pick. Oh well, I take the pictures anyway. After checking the vineyard, I head off to an account to deliver a case of wine, meet up with the wife, have a glass of wine and some food, and head home.

Tomorrow it all begins again.

Bruce Devlin
Three Clicks Wines

1 comment:

Janet Viader said...

what a beautiful picture!