Monday, October 5, 2009

The best, worst first day...

Pride Mountain Vintage '09 - It all began with a 49ers loss against the Vikings, a hangover combined with a lovely dose of Monday-itis.

Monday, September 28th kicked off our grape crush with our first official grapes from our estate here at Pride Mountain. We already had around 15 tons in our cellar but this day was to kick off the beginnings of our estate fruit. When we arrived there was already about 3 tons sitting on our crush pad - fast, efficient and reliable PMV vineyard workers were delivering our first batch of Viognier. I moved directly towards the scales to step up to my new responsibility of WeighMaster, turned the scales on only to read "Code 8." Uh oh. This meant trouble! The cords were all connected, but it was telling me they weren't. Plus, we were expecting more Viognier!

8.30am, the mastermind of "Mr Fixits," a coworker here we commonly call MacGyver, pulled everything apart as we called for the scale's engineer to come up and fix it for us ASAP. Not only that, but our must pump was giving us problems! We had to cancel picking for the day and it took about 5 hours for the scales to be fixed. A 12 hour day for 4.5 tons of Viognier! A number of other Monday-itis events occured but our spirits were kept high with a continuous shuffle of 1970s hits, a delicious BBQ and lame, cheesy jokes. Love this place!

A week later and we have processed another 40 odd tons of Viognier, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah. We have a record harvest of Viognier this year of 35 tons and theres still some left to pick! I'm just surprised at just how cold it has become, and so quickly, too! Being a vintage hopper has kept me away from brisk winters because I've literally just followed the summers, but this year my job will keep me here over Christmas - I'm a little nervous!

Renee Dale,

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